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Adidas and David Beckham: a relationship is born (1997)

The most important sports celebrity who has endorsed Adidas products in the past 20 years has been David Beckham. Beckham began wearing Adidas Predator boots in the mid 1990's, but it was only by 1997 - when he established himself in the Manchester United and England football teams - that his endorsement relationship with Adidas reached a new plateau. Adidas created a David Beckham logo (shown below) that has been placed on a range of David Beckham Predator football boots; the logo has been compared to the Nike Air Jordan logo.

The Beckham logo, displaying his iconic and unique style when striking a football. The Adidas Beckham Logo A bearded David Beckham, who played a crucial role in bringing the Olympic Games to London in 2012. A bearded David Beckham

Even though Beckham has retired from playing football, he still endorses Adidas products: he recently joined Rita Ora, Pharrell and Damian Lillard to relaunch Adidas' Superstar sneaker. In 2010, a one minute video was released that explored the 'David Beckham Story With Adidas': the video was titled "Impossible is Nothing". David Beckham became a national villain in England when he was sent off against Argentina at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The Daily Mail's headline was "Moment of Lunacy That Cost Cup Hopes" and the Sun's headline was "Ten Men and One Boy".

Beckham disclosed in the "Impossible is Nothing" video that he feared for his personal safety for three years after 1998. His redemption came in 2002: when his last minute free kick against Greece - at Old Trafford - qualified England for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. England qualified as group leaders, at the expense of Germany, who were widely regarded as being the favourites to win the group. The free kick, and Beckham's description of it, are the highlights of Adidas' "Impossible is Nothing" marketing campaign.

The loyalty shown to David Beckham by Adidas has been noted by the man himself: Beckham was pictured wearing Predator boots when he kicked Argentina's Diego Simeone, which could have ended his endorsement contract with Adidas. Instead, Adidas renewed their contract with Beckham, and when he left Manchester United to join Real Madrid - Real Madrid are widely regarded as the world's greatest football club - they were rewarded with extra exposure to their boots. In 2003, Beckham signed a $160 million lifetime contract with Adidas: therefore, the partnership between Adidas and Beckham looks to be a long lasting one, and has not been effected by Beckham's retirement from football.