England might have put in a poor showing at the World Cup, but David Beckham will still take home a trophy after out-playing Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, without setting foot on the pitch.
The footballer has topped a global poll of licensing professionals taken by Brand Licensing Europe 2010.
The worldwide poll looked at the commercial licensing value of World Cup legends past and present. The research analysed the potential money players can make away from the pitch by licensing their name and image to third parties for use in merchandise, like clothing, toys, games, books and films.
61 per cent of respondents said Beckham had the most commercial licensing value of past World Cup legends, ahead of Brazilian pair, Pele on 28 per cent and Ronaldo on four per cent, with feisty Argentine coach, Diego Maradona on three per cent.
Five players topped the poll despite poor showings in South Africa. Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo led the way on 37 per cent, followed by Argentine Lionel Messi on 19 per cent, Wayne Rooney on 16 per cent, Brazil’s Kaka on ten per cent and American superstar, Landon Donovan on seven per cent.
Of the English players included, Beckham also outplayed the legendary Bobby Moore on two per cent, but surprisingly, 1966 hero Geoff Hurst did not score at all.
The survey boasts feedback from a diverse global panel of heavyweight licensing brands across many sectors, including sportswear, retail and FMCG, gaming, toy, automotive and fashion, plus a sample of global media organisations, from newspapers to film, digital and technology brands.
Jessica Blue, event director, Brand Licensing Europe 2010, said: “The World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and its players, their talents and their images have been showcased to a global audience like never before. The way these players licence their brands is a vital part of their commercial power both during and after their football career.”
Brand Licensing Europe will take place at Olympia between September 28th and 30th.