Lewis Hamilton Signs With Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment
F1 driver Lewis Hamilton has "signed up with Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment management agency," according to Kevin Eason of the LONDON TIMES. Fuller was behind the Spice Girls before turning Galaxy MF David Beckham "into a global figure and attempting to transform" tennis player Andy Murray "from spiky prodigy to multimillion-pound marketing asset." After splitting with his father in '10, Hamilton "immediately became the most prized sporting entity in the world" with earnings estimated at a US$24M-a-year salary from his McLaren Mercedes F1 team and US$6.4M "in sponsorship and merchandising." Hamilton has "confessed he is thinking beyond the end of his motor racing career and wants to become a global figure." He said, "It was important I took my time to make this decision as it had to be right for my career and my long-term future." Hamilton's contract with XIX Entertainment could be worth as much as $3.2M annually (LONDON TIMES, 3/15). The FINANCIAL TIMES' Matthew Garrahan notes the signing of Hamilton means XIX, already with Beckham and Murray, now "represents three of Britain's biggest global sports stars." Fuller said, "He's not only one of the leading sportsmen of his generation; he will, I believe, become one of the best of all time." Meanwhile, Fuller has "secured backing from Cantor Fitzgerald, the US brokerage house, which has taken a minority stake in XIX." Fuller will advise Cantor on "potential media acquisitions as part of the deal" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/15).