Authentic Brands Group acquires majority stake in David Beckham brand

Marianne Wilson
David Beckham
Authentic Brands Group has entered into a strategic partnership with David Beckham.

Authentic Brands Group is adding another brand to its ever-expanding portfolio.

The retail and entertainment management conglomerate has entered into a deal with athlete-turned-entrepreneur and superstar David Beckham to co-own and manage his global brand management firm, DB Ventures. According to reports, Authentic Brands paid approximately  $269 million for a 55% stake in the firm.  As part of the deal, Beckham has become a shareholder in ABG, whose retail brands include Forever 21, Aéropostale, Brooks Brothers, Juicy Couture. Barneys New York, Nautica, Izod and more.

David Beckham joins the roster of ABG’s entertainment portfolio that includes such athletes and iconic sports brands such as Muhammad Ali, Shaquille O’Neal and Sports Illustrated. ABG is also close to completing its acquisition of Reebok.

Beckham has built a diverse portfolio of brands and businesses and is supported by strategic partners that include Adidas, Tudor, Maserati, EA Sports, Sands and Diageo. He and his management team will partner with ABG to grow the David Beckham brand through strategic endorsements, innovative business models, digital and media partnerships and new consumer products.

“David is a superstar talent with an incredible global brand reach and a highly influential presence,” said Jamie Salter, founder, chairman and CEO of ABG. “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.”

[Read More: Authentic Brands Group sells equity stake; company valued at $12.7 billion]

The partnership with Beckham is in line with ABG’s global strategy to expand its corporate footprint, launch new business verticals and drive growth in key territories, including EMEA and APAC. As part of this phase, ABG officially opens its European headquarters in London. The office will house the David Beckham team.

“ABG takes an innovative approach to global brand development, and I’m delighted to be joining them,” said Beckham. “Our shared vision makes ABG the ideal strategic partner to help unlock the full potential of my brand and business.”

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 brand clients.

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.

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 U.K.

“We have known David and his team for many years and are thrilled to join forces to break new ground,” said Nick Woodhouse, president and CMO of ABG. “Together, we will build on his remarkable brand and business platform to drive long-term growth and success.”

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