Sport’s new poster boy

For the past 15 years the name Beckham has been synonymous with not just British sport, but also a plethora of brands ranging from razors to mobile phones. However, the role of sponsors’ golden-boy is set to be taken over by a new sporting hero – Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis is set to take part in advertising campaigns including Vodafone and Tag Heuer, netting him an estimated £10million this year alone. Like Beckham, he has pinup good looks and a teenage-prodigy story to win the hearts (and wallets) of the nation.

Never mind that he capped a miserable week in British sport by throwing away the Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championship. As ever, advertising is less concerned with the success of the sportsperson and more with their sex appeal. Let’s take Anna Kournikova, who has never won a singles title but still made millions more than her match-winning (and less aesthetically pleasing) peers. Talented though they undoubtedly are, if Beckham looked like Ronaldinho and Lewis Hamilton like Ralf Schumacher, would they be so rich? We think not…

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