Becks may have virtually bared all for Armani, but the Special One has played a cannier PR game in the past few days. This year ends with another spectacular David Beckham publicity stunt. Not content with the three ring circus of his move to Los Angeles to sell soccer to the Americans, why not tie up with a fashion brand and flash your bits for yet more press? You just can’t keep the good stuntster down. It’s too easy to write a piece on it, but it’s too important a stunt not to.
For anyone who has studied the celebrity fame game, this is straight out of the text book. Provocative shots of Golden Balls’ golden balls in their Armani cotton sac can generate hype which suggests the media still loves good old Becks and feel he can still sell papers.
Perhaps a more interesting use of front pages, by someone who used to dominate the back pages, is everyone’s favourite Portuguese Special One, Jose Mourinho.
Frankly, a man who has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous press coverage, certainly in his tenure as Chelsea FC’s manager, he’s quickly grasped the rudiments of tabloid motivation.
Did anyone think that the man who knows more about English football than anyone, would take that poison chalice and manage England? Clearly Jose was even cleverer. By flirting with the tabloid media through a PR, he has generated enough interest to force all the suitors currently trying to line him up to manage a major European football team to up the ante in order to lure him away from the England camp.
I would imagine this has resulted in a substantially increased financial package. Jose well understands the redundancy of those grey men who control the England game, but can also see the value of column inches in this undisputed publicity stunt which put him centre stage over last week’s papers.
It all seems pretty obvious now that Jose was never going to even contemplate the England job, but what he’s taught us is that by creating and continuing a personal narrative for the media, you can transcend your status as a sports personality and become the “TV show” in your own right.
Beckham, who is no longer a major league football player, can thrust his wedding tackle as much as he wants and still get acres of coverage.
However, it’s Jose who is the one demonstrating the clever way to generate riches from publicity – and in a seasonal pantomime fashion to boot: “Oh no he isn’t!”, “Oh yes he is…”.