Why Brand Beckham could still be a winner in the US

David Beckham s days as an international footballer could now be at an end, but British Brand Guru Simon Middleton predicts a new beginning for Brand Beckham . I think probably in terms of world class football, his days have got to be numbered, Middle

David Beckham's days as an international footballer could now be at an end, but British Brand Guru Simon Middleton predicts a new beginning for 'Brand Beckham'.

"I think probably in terms of world class football, his days have got to be numbered," Middleton said. "However, that doesn't mean his days as an icon and a brand are over at all."

"I think Beckham will thrive. He doesn't have the voice for a career as a TV pundit like Lineker, but he has a host of things going for him as a brand. For a start he is almost certainly the world's most famous football personality. He has shown tremendous resilience to the pressures of his fame, and notwithstanding a few glitches he has remained basically 'The boy next door who made good'."

One direction Beckham may take is to purchase a Major League Soccer franchise in America. He has always insisted that he wants to stay in football after his playing career is over and in November he said: "Owning a franchise is something that's definitely possible and something that I'm really thinking about, and I think will happen eventually.''

Many Brits have tried to 'crack' America and failed, but 'Brand Beckham' has made an impressive start. He made $16.5 million in personal sponsorship deals in his first full season with the Los Angeles Galaxy on top of his $5.5 million salary. He also enjoys a share of club merchandising, has sponsorship deals with Adidas, Motorola and Armani, and a range of fragrances with his pop-star wife.

"There is no reason Beckham won't succeed at whatever he tries, thanks to his enduring crossover appeal and upstanding reputation," said Middleton. "America can be tough for British brands, but Beckham is such a strong role model to his generation that I would back him to succeed.

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"In Britain we've watched him grow up. He's made some mistakes and always bounced back. He's never lost that core admiration people had for him. He can achieve the same in the US.

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