David Beckman's rise to stardom began when he was just 17 years old. His elite skills on the soccer field and knack for winning made him a real marketable talent. That combination earned him very lucrative contracts to play soccer around the world, as well as even more lucrative endorsement deals. As a result, David Beckham's net worth is now estimated at more than $350 million.
The rise of the soccer star
David Beckham's soccer career began in 1992 with Manchester United, where he played nine seasons. During that time, Beckham's team did nothing but win; the club won the Premiere League title six times, the FA cup twice, and the UEFA Champions League once.
His total playing career spanned 21 years, with Beckham also playing for Madrid Real, Los Angeles Galaxy, Preston North End, and Paris Saint-Germain.
Beckham has long been the highest-paid soccer player in the world. When he signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy, for example, his deal paid him more than $255 million over six years. While his base salary was "only" around $6.5 million, he also earned a percentage of the club's revenue as well as endorsements, appearances, and licensing, which bolstered his earnings.
He earned so much in that deal that by the time he ended his playing career in 2013, with Paris Saint-Germain, he was virtually playing for free as he donated his entire $5.3 million salary to a children's charity.
The Posh and Becks: A true power couple
Beckham's other claim to fame is that he is married to former Spice Girl and current fashion designer Victoria Beckham. Victoria, known as Posh from her Spice Girls days, is a very wealthy woman in her own right, with a net worth exceeding $300 million. While she made millions as a Spice Girl, Victoria Beckham's personal net worth is largely derived from her fashion label. Combined, the power couple collectively known as the Posh and Becks boast a net worth exceeding $650 million.
As a result of his celebrity status, David Beckham's soccer earnings have been greatly enhanced by endorsement deals. In fact, in his last year playing, Beckham made just $5.3 million in salary, but pocketed another $42 million in endorsements.
Over the years, he has endorsed Adidas, H&M, Pepsi, and Samsung, among many others, and it's these endorsement deals that will keep Beckman's net worth from declining now that his playing days are over. In fact, his deal with Adidas is actually a lifetime contract worth upward of $160 million, which is the second largest endorsement deal for a sports star in history.
They key to David Beckham's wealth
While David Beckham is widely regarded as one of the greatest soccer players in the world, his soccer skills alone aren't what pushed his net worth to its current heights. Instead, a large portion of David Beckham's wealth has come from owning a stake in the wealth he was creating for others.
For example, while with the Los Angeles Galaxy, Beckham was able to earn a portion of the club's revenue, which boosted his per-year earnings from his base salary of $6.5 million up to $10 million per year. However, that only accounted for roughly $50 million of the estimated $255 million he earned while in L.A., with the majority of his earnings coming from endorsement deals, which, in the case of Adidas, also paid Beckham a portion of the profits.
That ownership stake, so to speak, has really bolstered Beckham's net worth and will ensure that Beckham continues to earn quite a comfortable living even though his playing career is over.
Matt DiLallo has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of PepsiCo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.