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Beckham Set To Sign $160.8M Lifetime Agreement With adidas
Published August 11, 2003
Beckham To Sign Lifetime
Deal With adidas
Real Madrid MF David Beckham is "lined up to sign the biggest commercial contract in the history of sport," a "lifetime agreement" with adidas, "estimated to be worth in excess of" US$160.8M. according to the SUNDAY MIRROR. adidas global football exec Thomas Van Schaik: "There are a number of athletes that transcend their sport, like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan — but they're not half as big as Beckham. Muhammad Ali was under contract with adidas but even he can't come close to Beckham." The company's move to secure Beckham to a long-term deal "took on greater urgency recently when it became clear that arch-rivals Nike were planning to offer Beckham a massive deal to switch brands." Beckham "has about three years remaining" on his current deal, and adidas believes that his "global market appeal is unsurpassed and will extend beyond his playing days." Beckham, who "sells more product on his own than all of adidas's other clients combined," will receive "a massive downpayment" of about US$80M, as well as "a percentage of profits from the sale of sportswear and lucrative payments for promotional and PR work." After his retirement from soccer, Beckham "will be employed as an ambassador of the brand and represent the company across the world." Van Schaik: "He will be involved across the board with PR, development, and endorsement and that will continue long after he stops playing." Van Schaik also "denied adidas put any pressure on Beckham to join" Real Madrid, but "conceded it is a wonderful partnership for the brand," saying, "There was no pressure on David to join the club, it was his decision alone" (London SUNDAY MIRROR, 8/10).
NOTE: In the SUNDAY MAIL, Derek Alexander reported that Real Madrid jersey sales in the U.K. "have rocketed by 350[%] on last year's figures," but in Scotland they are "still being out-sold by Rangers and Celtic by around three to one." A JD Sports spokesperson said, "Real Madrid tops are flying off the shelves. Their white home strip is outselling many leading clubs in the UK." A Greaves Sports spokesperson: "The Real Madrid top has always been a good seller, but sales have rocketed this year because of the Beckham factor" (Glasgow SUNDAY MAIL, 8/10).