Las Vegas Sands Plans to Score With Beckham in Branding Tie-Up

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) plans to brand it like Beckham by signing an agreement to cooperate with the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and England football star’s company to promote its business in Asia.

The co-branding venture will focus on dining and retail, Sands China Ltd. (1928) Chief Executive Officer Edward Tracy said at a press conference in Macau yesterday, without providing further details. Las Vegas Sands last year got almost 60 percent of its revenue from casino resorts in the Chinese city.

Sands is betting David Beckham’s celebrity status in China will help give its brand a boost in a country where casinos are forbidden from advertising. Earlier this year, the former England captain said he would act as a global ambassador for soccer in the world’s most populous nation, and the China Football Association invited him to promote the game among the youth.

“I miss football but I’m happy that I have something set up and I can just jump into another career as long as I get off the field,” Beckham told reporters in Macau yesterday, referring to his company Beckham Ventures as well as work on various brand tie-ups and charities. “I’m glad that there are so many business opportunities presenting in front of me and I can become a businessman now.”

It’s the former footballer’s first visit to the world’s largest gambling hub. He didn’t take questions from reporters.

Beckham retired from soccer earlier this year and remains one of the world’s most marketable sports personalities. Forbes magazine in June put his total earnings at $47 million, making him the eighth-highest paid athlete. Tiger Woods topped that list with $78 million.

The Las Vegas company’s Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore will also benefit from the Asia deal announced yesterday.

Entertainment

Sands and competitors such as Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (6883) are adding more entertainment shows and shopping outlets at their Asian resorts to draw Chinese families, who offer casinos wider margins. VIPs, or high rollers, presently account for about two-thirds of the city’s total gambling revenue that is six times more than the Las Vegas Strip.

Chinese tourists helped drive up Macau’s casino revenue 18 percent to 297.1 billion patacas ($37.2 billion) in the first 10 months of this year, close to the $38 billion revenue raked in last year.

Sands Cotai Central, the operator’s latest resort which opened in April last year in the former Portuguese enclave, has been adding more hotel rooms. The company plans to invest another $2.8 billion to build a new Macau resort, to be named the Parisian, which will have a replica of the Eiffel Tower.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anjali Cordeiro in Hong Kong at acordeiro2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Wong at swong139@bloomberg.net

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