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Alibaba Names Soccer Star David Beckham Its Brand Ambassador

International soccer star David Beckham has signed a deal to be a global brand ambassador of Alibaba (BABA) and promote the Chinese company’s international e-commerce platform called “AliExpress.”

In a news release, Alibaba said the Beckham signing is its biggest global brand ambassador partnership to date.

The signing of David Beckham comes as Alibaba faces growing domestic competition from companies such as PDD Holdings and Shein, each of which is expanding worldwide.

AliExpress, which did not disclose how much it is paying Beckham, has joined several Chinese companies in sponsoring the European soccer championship that begins in June of this year.

Alibaba’s international e-commerce business, which includes AliExpress, saw its sales surge 45% year over year in the first three months of 2024 to $3.79 billion U.S.

However, the international business unit remains unprofitable for Alibaba, something the company says it is trying to fix.

Alibaba and other Chinese companies are trying to expand overseas amid slowing growth at home.

While he no longer plays soccer, David Beckham remains a popular international sports figure, particularly in Europe and Asia.

Beckham spent most of his soccer career playing in England for Manchester United, but also had stints with soccer clubs Real Madrid in Spain and the LA Galaxy in the U.S.

The stock of Alibaba has risen 3% in the last 12 months to trade at $81.26 U.S. per share. However, over five years, the stock is down 46%.