Former English footballer David Beckham is set to launch a content studio that will develop non-fiction content for television and film.
Studio 99 will develop documentary films and unscripted television, among other editorial formats, in addition to delivering commercial work as a creative agency for brand partners. The studio currently has a range of documentary projects in development – including some that will feature Beckham – with topics spanning such genres as sport, travel and fashion. The company is headquartered in London alongside David Beckham Ventures.
Studio 99 was named to reflect the diversity of content the firm will produce and honors 1999, the year in which Beckham married Victoria Adams; had his first child, Brooklyn; and won the treble with Manchester United, for which the club won titles in the Premier League, the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League.
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star co-founded Studio 99 with long-term manager David Gardner, who is managing director of David Beckham Ventures, and Nicola Howson, who becomes MD of the production business.
Howson joined David Beckham Ventures in 2018 as a strategic adviser after having spent five years as an independent consultant to a variety of media businesses. Prior to this, Howson served as CEO and founder of indie agency Freuds for nearly a decade and is also a former communications director at ITV and consultant to a number of production companies.
In addition to the label’s launch, Studio 99 has penned a development partnership with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s media company Uninterrupted. Under terms of the deal, the two organizations will co-produce an as-yet untitled docuseries that is slated to chart the journey — from conception to launch in spring 2020 — of the Major League Soccer expansion club Inter Miami CF, of which Beckham is a co-owner.
“David Beckham typifies the ‘More Than An Athlete’ mentality, and we’re excited to be partnering with him and Studio 99 on this new development deal and documentary,” said Maverick Carter, Uninterrupted’s co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “As Uninterrupted continues to grow, working with partners in Europe and within football is a natural extension of our mission to empower all athletes.”
“On the commercial side I have been lucky enough to work with some of the best creative talent in the world for over 25 years,” added Beckham. “I really enjoy it and I have learned a lot about what works and how to bring the best people together. It’s amazing to see what guys that I admire so much, like LeBron and Maverick, have achieved. It’s inspired me to see what’s possible in my world. It’s just very cool to be working with friends and meeting so many new people who are doing great things and want to create exciting new projects with us.”
Elsewhere, Studio 99 has designated talent agency WME to represent the company’s interests. The agency, along with Beckham and his team, have already begun conversations with global platforms and media partners about Studio 99′s initial development slate and potential copro opportunities.
The newly minted company will also encompass a creative agency that will create and deliver commercial campaigns and branded content for partners including AIA and Safilo across traditional, digital and social media. Studio 99 will now also produce and manage all content creation for Beckham’s social media channels and 120 million global followers.
Beckham has previously featured in a number of documentaries, each executive produced by his business partner Gardner, including The Class of 92, which recounted the story of the players that formed Man United’s treble-winning team; as well as BBC travelogues Into the Unknown, which explored remote areas of Brazil’s Amazon, and David Beckham: For the Love of the Game, in which Beckham played seven football matches on seven continents in nine days to raise awareness of issues facing children supported by his UNICEF 7 Fund.
(Image via Twitter)