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Soccer star David Beckham has signed a global brand ambassador partnership with Alibaba’s international e-commerce platform, AliExpress. This deal is seen as Alibaba’s biggest global brand ambassador partnership to date. The announcement comes as Chinese competitors like PDD Holdings’ Temu and online fashion startup Shein are rapidly expanding globally. AliExpress will be sponsoring the upcoming UEFA European soccer championship, offering discounts, deals, and promotions for fans. Beckham’s company, DRJB Holdings, reported a revenue of 72.6 million pounds in 2022.

Alibaba’s international e-commerce business, which includes AliExpress, is part of the Alibaba International Digital Commerce Group. The international unit saw a significant increase in sales by 45% year on year to 27.45 billion yuan in the first three months of 2024. However, the unit also reported increased losses of 4.1 billion yuan, compared to 2.2 billion yuan a year earlier, due to aggressive investments in emerging markets. AliExpress has invested millions of dollars in countries like South Korea to attract local consumers with lower product prices, and has also signed other brand ambassadors like actor Don Lee.

Chinese companies, including Alibaba-affiliate Alipay, electric car company BYD, home appliance brand Hisense, and smartphone company Vivo, are sponsors of the UEFA Euro 2024 championship. Hisense was the first Chinese sponsor for the tournament in 2016, followed by three other Chinese companies in 2020. These sponsorships reflect China’s efforts to expand overseas markets, particularly as growth slows domestically. Companies like AliExpress are leveraging brand ambassadors and strategic partnerships to attract consumers and gain traction in international markets.

The partnership with David Beckham highlights AliExpress’s commitment to expanding its global presence and engaging with fans through major sporting events like the UEFA European championship. By investing in sponsorships and promotions, AliExpress aims to provide fans with unique experiences and increase its market share in key regions. Beckham’s involvement as a global brand ambassador for AliExpress further strengthens the company’s brand image and visibility on an international scale. As Chinese companies continue to seek opportunities overseas, partnerships with influential figures like Beckham can help drive brand awareness and growth in competitive markets.

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