By Barry Janoff
July 21, 2013: David Beckham retired from soccer earlier this year following a 20-year international career, but he continues to keep a high-profile via his career as a marketing spokesperson.
Beckham, who earns about $42 million (U.S.) annually from endorsements deals, stars in a multi-media campaign for Sky Sports, the U.K.-based version of ESPN. In fact, the campaign is so layered that it takes "six" Beckhams to get the message across.
Sky Sports is using the effort to highlight the various platforms it uses to reach fans (including mobile tablet, smartphone, laptop, Internet and TV). It also supports the launch of a show for kids, Game Changers.
Beckham will be one of 75 athletes who will share their knowledge about sports "to inspire kids to participate and get them active."
"It's an ambition of mine to inspire more young people to take part in sport," Beckham said in a statement. "I'm excited to be one of a great group of athletes contributing to Game Changers and working with Sky, who have the passion to make it happen."
The Beckham campaign is anchored by a TV spot, "Sky Difference With David Beckham." Played out to Stevie Wonder's "For Once In My Life," it shows a day in the life of Beckham, including home (no kids or Victoria in sight, though they've been there via a table full of breakfast foods and unwashed bowls), meetings, lunch and the TV studio. (See the full spot here.)
Beckham is such a busy guy that it seemingly takes a half-dozen of him in this spot to do it all. But they each are able to keep track of all their favorite sports and other important news thanks to Sky Sports' multi-platform options. Ultimately, they all end up together watch Sky Sports.
The Sky Sports push comes as rival BT Group is preparing the launch on Aug. 1 of hits own network of channels. BT Sports includes channels formerly owned by ESPN U.K., which had aired in the U.K. via a deal with Sky.
Beckham's U.K.-based effort for Sky Sports includes print, Internet and social media. Lead agency is Brothers & Sisters, London.
According to Brothers & Sisters, "The competition in sports broadcasting is hotting up with BT Group's launch of its own dedicated sports channels, as well as their takeover of existing rights to ESPN. We were tasked with asserting Sky’s superiority by highlighting the fact that sport is better on Sky, focusing on the start of the new football season.
"We looked to demonstrate the effortless simplicity with which Sky customers can get the sport they want, when they want and in the best way possible because they have Sky Sports on Sky. We used David Beckham, the world's busiest man, to illustrate how, thanks to Sky Sports on Sky, he stays up to date with all the news and games of the clubs and sports he follows."
Beckham signed as a Sky Sports spokesperson this past April. His endorsement deals also include adidas, H&M. Coty, Samsung, Sainsbury's and Breitling.
His playing career included five seasons with the Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer, with whom he is in discussions to bring a franchise to Miami.
End It Like Beckham
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