David Beckham ‘wouldn’t have a clue’ what brand Beckham is worth — but this expert has the answer

Soccer star David Beckham has been associated with brands from Adidas to Samsung, with lucrative deals that benefit both him and the companies he represents.

But when asked about the value of "brand Beckham," he told CNBC's Emily Tan that he has no idea what his worth might be.

"I wouldn't have a clue. But what I am proud of is that we've made it into a successful business, and that obviously coming from being a sportsman and then ready to jump into the business side of things, that it's all about having the right people around you, the right friends, family (and the) right business partners," he said.

"And that has helped me transition from being a football player to a businessman and that's something that I'm excited about and very proud of. To put a price on it, I don't think I could. I'll leave that to someone else to decide."

Beckham's worth

But experts think they have the answer. Richard Thompson, chair of talent agency M&C Saatchi Merlin, told CNBC's "Marketing Media Money" show that Beckham should be earning up to £100 million ($133 million) a year from business deals.

"You would look at David Beckham. I think you should be earning £100 million a year in your wealth, in a sense of royalty streams, equity value and fees (of) £50 to £100 million a year. But you know (that) should be where he's at. And if he's not, then he should be," he told CNBC's James Wright.

Thompson added that equity participation — or owning shares in a company — is where the serious money is to be found, citing Apple's $3 billion acquisition of rapper Dr Dre's Beats headphone brand in 2014.

David Beckham appears at an AIA event in Singapore in September 2017
Suhaimi Abdullah | Getty Images
David Beckham appears at an AIA event in Singapore in September 2017

"To get to the super league of wealth... when Apple come and buy your brand or product, (for) $500 million or $1 billion or whatever, that's when you've truly arrived. And I think that should be the next phase of what we see from the David Beckham brand. He's at his peak now but he's got to do it right now," he said.

Insurance endorsement

One of Beckham's recent deals is with Hong Kong-headquartered insurance group AIA, which hired him as an ambassador in March to promote its "What's your why" campaign, encouraging people to live more healthily. Beckham was chosen as someone who is known for looking after himself physically, AIA's chief marketing officer Stuart Spencer told "Marketing Media Money."

"David is an incredible 'vehicle', if you will, the great partner to physically demonstrate what the power of insurance can be and how to shape and change behavior. As Asia has got wealthier, it hasn't got healthier. And so we're trying to change the dialogue to get people to focus and concentrate on health and wellbeing," he said.

Insurance companies benefit from healthier customers, who may be less likely to make big claims.

"So much of the industry has focused on end of life: you die, we pay. We're trying to turn that upside down and say: you know what, we want to have a 'customer journey' throughout the life of the customer. But we also want to encourage our customers to take better care of themselves," he said.

"So it's a win for the customer. It's a win for AIA. And ultimately it's a win for society because as we see across Asia-Pacific today an alarming uptick in what we call lifestyle diseases."