Beckham shifts the goalposts with gamble on esports boom

Beckham shifts the goalposts with gamble on esports boom: Former England captain renegotiates £15m contract with Guild

David Beckham is betting on the future success of video game firm Guild Esports after renegotiating his lucrative £15million contract with the firm.

The former England football captain, a brand ambassador for the London-listed esports franchise, has agreed to give up guaranteed payments of £7.5million in favour of a higher share of revenues.

Guild Esports announced the new deal with Beckham yesterday – just 24 hours after it struck a major sponsorship agreement with media giant Sky.

Partnership: David Beckham (pictured with with wife Victoria) is betting on the future success of video game firm Guild Esports

Beckham owns a 4.7 per cent stake in Guild, which manages teams that compete in video game tournaments. 

Since snapping up his services on a five-year agreement in 2020, Guild has shelled out over £7million to Beckham for the first three years of the contract. 

But Beckham will skip further fees of £3.5million and £4million for the final two years of the deal.

Instead, he will receive 20 per cent of Guild’s merchandising and sponsorship revenues – up from a previously agreed rate of 15 per cent.

The firm said this will ‘significantly reduce the company’s cash requirements and align the fees to its business performance and continued success’. 

Guild has lost over 60 per cent of its value since its stock market debut in October 2020, and its shares are now trading at 2.7p.

But its price surged after it announced a three-year deal with Sky on Monday, its largest to date.

Sky has gained naming rights to Guild’s 9,831 sq ft office in London, while its brand will appear on the firm’s team jersey. It is Sky’s first agreement with an esports firm.

Guild chief executive Kal Hourd said: ‘This landmark partnership with Sky not only underlines Guild’s strength and value proposition as a top European team organisation to major brands but is also a testament to esports’ mass popularity as the fastest growing form of sports entertainment with a young and passionate global audience.’

The esports business also has deals with sandwich giant Subway and electronics firm Samsung.