At Digital MIPTV, the serial entrepreneur will deliver his first in-depth television industry keynote, during which he will give the inside track on his production company, Studio 99.
Beckham launched Studio 99 in 2019, with long-time partners David Gardner and Nicola Howson. A broad-based group, it is active across documentary films, series and format development. It is also a commercial studio, producing a wide range of both editorial and marketing content for global brand clients.
When the company opened its doors, Beckham outlined the allure of the TV business…
“I have always enjoyed creating content of all kinds and working on set with creative people”
“It’s amazing to see what guys that I admire, like LeBron and Maverick, have achieved. It’s inspired me to see what’s possible in my world. It’s very cool to work with friends and meet so many new people who are doing great things and want to create exciting new projects with us.” he said.
During his keynote, in conversation with Director and Producer Ben Winston, Beckham will talk about his global ambitions for Studio 99 and give MIPTV delegates some insight into current projects in production and development. These include A Whole New Ball Game, a factual series charting the contemporary history of the UK’s soccer elite, the Premier League; World War Shoe, a documentary mini-series charting the untold story behind sports brands Adidas and Puma; and the upcoming definitive David Beckham biopic.
One of the strengths of Studio 99 as a concept is its ability to plug into so many aspects of the Beckham brand. Aside from the planned biopic, one of the company’s first moves was to seal a development pact with NBA legend LeBron James’s Uninterrupted banner, through which the two firms are co-producing a doc series following the launch of Inter Miami CF, a soccer team co-owned by Beckham.
The production outfit is also well placed to leverage Beckham’s social media profile. For example, it produces and manages content targeted at Beckham’s 65 million Instagram followers and 54 million Facebook fans.
While sports-themed programming is what everyone would expect from Studio 99, the company also has plans to explore travel and fashion ideas. Fashion is an obvious opportunity given that Beckham’s wife Victoria is such a prominent figure in the industry – both Studio 99 and Victoria are represented by agency WME. Perhaps there is even an opportunity to develop purpose-led programming, given Beckham’s long-standing status as a Goodwill Ambassador with UNICEF. In 2015, he launched the groundbreaking initiative 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund, aimed at protecting millions of children around the world from danger.
Football fans will recall that Beckham wore Number 7 for both Manchester United and England, while 23 and 32 were his preferred monikers at soccer teams AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy. As for club career goals, he scored a total of 97. So why “Studio 99”? The name celebrates 1999, the year Beckham married Victoria Adams – also known back then as Posh Spice – the couple had their first child, and he won the treble with Manchester United. The significance of 99 is underlined by the fact it is tattooed on Beckham’s right hand.
In Conversation with David Beckham takes place as part of Digital MIPTV on Tuesday, April 13 at 18.00 CEST, and will be available on catch-up until 14 May.
This article originally appeared in the MIPTV 2021 Preview magazine, which you can read in full once registered for Digital MIPTV. Find out how, here!