Beckham and Vegas developer team up in Asia

Updated: 2013-11-26 07:32

By Liu Zhihua in Macao (China Daily)

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Although retired from sports, David Beckham still commands huge attention.

Hours before he showed up in a conference room at luxury hotel and casino resort Venetian Macao last week, journalists from about 500 media houses had already waited in long lines to get a close-up position to the celebrity.

When he appeared, there was no sound except clicking from countless photoflashes.

But this time, Beckham presents himself as businessman, rather than an entertainment celebrity, as he announced a long-term partnership between his company Beckham Ventures and global resort developer Las Vegas Sands, which owns Venetian Macao.

He has retired as a pro athlete and will focus on business and charity. Beckham emphasizes: "I'm extremely excited.

 Beckham and Vegas developer team up in Asia

Former England soccer team captain David Beckham says he is more a businessman now. Tyrone Siu / Reuters

"My business started a few years ago, but my focus was on playing (soccer) at that time. Now I'm becoming more of a businessman."

He also said leadership, teamwork and hard work are important in sports, and it's the same with business.

The partnership between one of Asia's most dynamic businesses and the global star, organizers say, will be based on the development of dining, retail and leisure concepts at Sands China properties in Macao and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Of the partnership, Beckham comments, "The Sands team has created amazing resorts in Singapore and Macao. The scale, vision and caliber in all that they do are impressive. I am very excited to be working with them to develop a range of new business ideas in a part of the world that I love spending time in - that is full of optimism and growth."

The excitement on the partnership is obviously mutual.

Michael Leven, president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp, says he believes a partnership with Beckham will help the company develop its global brand icon, and will provide Beckham with the same benefit.

"We have billions of dollars invested in our own global, iconic brands and we clearly understand the importance of growing and sustaining those brands over time," Leven says.

"We are very excited about the partnership and we fully expect it to grow in the years to come, especially as we aggressively explore opportunities to further expand our presence in Asia."

Beckham, of course, still has star power as an entertainment celebrity, and at the end of the press conference, Beckham made his handprints and signature for posterity for the resort's Bridge of Stars Gallery.

(China Daily 11/26/2013 page19)