Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton signed up to the agency that represents former England soccer captain David Beckham and Scottish tennis player Andy Murray.
Hamilton, now 26, was the youngest-ever Formula One champion when he drove his McLaren to the 2008 title at age 23. His record was surpassed last season by Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, who beat Hamilton’s mark by six months.
The deal with XIX Entertainment, a company controlled by American Idol creator Simon Fuller, will also include joint business ventures.
“I took my time to make this decision as it had to be right for my career and my long-term future,” Hamilton said in a press release.
Hamilton, who was managed by his father Anthony until the arrangement ended last year, is one of Formula One’s most marketable drivers. Fuller said he’s “one of the leading sportsmen of his generation” and expects his profile to grow further.
The Briton finished second in his debut season, a point behind world champion Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari. A year later he clinched the title on the final lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix. He finished fourth last season, 16 points behind Vettel.
The first race of the new Formula One season is on March 27 in Melbourne. Hamilton last week said the new McLaren car needs improvements if it’s to push him to another title.
“I have every belief in my heart that I can win many, many more world championships,” he said. “But do I believe I have a car to win the world championship at the moment? I don’t.”
Also today, Red Bull said it extended its contract with Vettel until the end of 2014.