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ABG and David Beckham team up to grow brand as he becomes shareholder

Tom Bottomley
25 February 2022

Authentic Brands Group (ABG), the parent of brands such as Reebok, Juicy Couture and Forever 21, has confirmed a strategic partnership with David Beckham to grow his brand as part of ABG’s Entertainment Division, while Beckham also becomes an ABG shareholder.

Beckham joins the roster of ABG’s growing entertainment portfolio that includes some the world’s most celebrated athletes and iconic sports brands such as Muhammad Ali, Shaquille O’Neal and Sports Illustrated.

Beckham and his management team will partner with ABG to co-own and grow the David Beckham brand through strategic endorsements, digital and media partnerships and new consumer products.

Regarded as one of the most successful athlete-turned-entrepreneurs, Beckham has built a diverse portfolio of brands and businesses that “connect with audiences worldwide”, and is supported by key strategic partners including Adidas, Maserati, EA Sports and Diageo.

David Beckham commented: “ABG takes an innovative approach to global brand development, and I’m delighted to be joining them. Our shared vision makes ABG the ideal strategic partner to help unlock the full potential of my brand and business. I’m incredibly grateful for the support I have received in my business career and proud of what our team has achieved. I’m excited for the next chapter.”

Jamie Salter, Founder, Chairman and CEO of ABG, said: “We are thrilled to welcome David Beckham to ABG’s esteemed entertainment division, and even further honoured to call him an ABG shareholder. David is a superstar talent with an incredible global brand reach and a highly influential presence. David and his team have built an enterprise that spans sports, entertainment, lifestyle and luxury, and we see significant opportunities to scale his brand and expand it into new verticals.

Beckham’s digital presence is considered one of the most influential in the world, with a following of more than 138 million, bringing ABG’s total portfolio-wide social media following to more than 420 million.

Additionally, Beckham’s annual impressions surpass 9 billion across Instagram, Facebook and Chinese platforms Weibo and Douyin, which has the highest engagement of any international account. He is also the most followed and engaged individual on social media in the UK.

ABG also becomes the largest shareholder in Studio 99, an integrated creative and production studio co-founded by Beckham in 2019. The company has a slate of documentary series in development and production for global platforms, including Netflix and Disney+, in addition to a commercial business generating content and creative marketing campaigns for a range of global brands.

Last month it was also reported that ABG was taking a majority 55% stake in David Beckham’s brand management company, David Beckham Ventures, for around £200m.

David Gardner, Managing Director of David Beckham Ventures, said: “ABG is a global leader in licensing and branding with a proven track record of successfully tapping into industry trends and innovative products and platforms.

“We are looking forward to partnering with Jamie and the rest of the ABG team to continue the development of David’s brand and business.”

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