M&S Hopes to Score with Beckham Deal

22 February 2002

British high-street retailer Marks & Spencer has completed a remarkable coup by forging a promotional alliance with Manchester United soccer star David Beckham.

Beckham, captain of the English national side, will put his name to a line of fashion clothing and accessories for six to 14-year-old boys. Although financial terms were not disclosed, the contract is likely to involve a multimillion-pound sum.

The alliance seems an unlikely one for Beckham, who is normally seen decked in designer wear. However, it is perfect for M&S, eager to lose its stuffy, traditional image.

Due to go on sale in September, the range will be branded Zip Project, and is being designed by the retailer’s in-house team with assistance from Beckham.

“For some time now I have been enjoying the creative side of my commercial work,” revealed the footballer, “and when Marks & Spencer offered me the opportunity to actively assist in the design of clothing for youngsters, I was delighted. I want to create the kind of clothes which I would have wanted to wear when I was younger.”

Needless to say, Zip Project managing director Michelle Jobling was delighted to have signed one of Britain's most high-profile figures, who with wife Victoria ‘Posh Spice’ Beckham is rarely out of the papers.

“David Beckham is the perfect icon for this boyswear range,” she enthused. “Not only is he the number one sporting hero for all boys from the age they begin to kick a football, but he is also a great style icon and role model.”

Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff