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March 6, 2013

David Beckham’s New Job: Save Chinese Football

足协官网悄然证实与小贝结缘  贝克汉姆将代言中超联赛

Soccer fans in China were recently dealt a nasty blow when news came out of just how rigged the system has been there. Close to 60 Chinese soccer officials, including two former heads of the Chinese Football Association and the nation’s most-respected referee were recently banned from the sport for anywhere from five years to life for fixing games.

In addition to the corruption scandal, Chinese football has also just lost two of its biggest stars—the Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba and France’s Nicolas Anelka—long before soccer fans in the country expected them to leave.

What’s the most-populated nation in the world to do? Hire the world’s most well-known soccer player under the age of 40 to help shift its image, of course. The 37-year-old David Beckham, who is now on the roster of Paris Saint-Germain Football Club in France’s Ligue 1, has signed on to be the brand ambassador for Chinese football, the BBC reports.

“I am honored to have been asked to play such an important role at this special time in Chinese football history,” Beckham said in a statement. “I’m excited by the prospect of promoting the world’s greatest game to Chinese sports fans as I’ve seen first hand the growing interest in football there.”

It doesn’t sound like Beckham’s work will be too strenuous. The BBC reports that “his role will involve attending league matches in China and visiting clubs to help promote the game to children.”

Beckham, a father of four (his oldest, Brooklyn, is 14 today), has an affinity for campaigns promoting healthy, happy kids. Expanding on his London 2012 Olympics brand ambassador role, he recently made a TV commercial (watch above) promoting British grocery chain Sainsbury’s Active Kids campaign that also starred three youngsters who couldn’t have been more psyched to be paired with the soccer superstar. “From the first audition we were told that David Beckham would be in the advert, so everyone wanted to get it,” said one, according to ThisIsSouthWales.com.

The word from Sportsmole.co.uk is that Paris Saint-Germain is planning to sell a David Beckham-branded red wine. Most players who sign a five-month deal don’t get such treatment, but it should come as no surprise since Beckham is as much a marketing powerhouse as he is a soccer star these days. In a promotion for his bodywear line for H&M, the guy stripped down to his skivvies for a short film by Guy Ritchie that has amassed more than 8.6 million views on YouTube in the last month.

posted by: Limité Staff
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