How much longer are the likes of David Beckham and Justin Timberlake going to be around?
I guess the simple answer to that question depends on how long each play their game.
Anyone can live off past success. Michael Jordan still makes $80 million/year. So too could Beckham and Timberlake if they retired.
The Beckham brand would continue through modeling partnerships and World Cup sponsorships; Timberlake could forget MySpace and just act or join the Jimmy Fallon show with The Roots.
Forced feeding consumers brand relevancy through your previous expertise is just going to backlash. You’re not as good as you used to be. Attrition is inevitable.
Jordan scored 50 points when he returned to the NBA at the age of 40. It was remarkable, a true sign of raw greatness. But his team failed to win; that’s why Jordan won plaudits in the first place.
You don’t need to play the game to stay fresh on people’s minds. If anything, you just may taint your legacy. People remember everything.
The longevity is admirable but if it’s not liked it used to be, why not try something else and extend brand relevance that way?
The Internet introduces people to new stuff they wouldn’t have normally found or liked.
One case and point is soccer, often joked among Americans as a “Communist” sport. But soccer is now the second most popular sport for 12-24 year olds in the US. This didn’t happen naturally.
The combination of early addictive video games like FIFA and television broadcasts laid the groundwork. But now social media is spreading the game rapidly, converting more Americans into soccer fanatics every year.
New adoption for anything requires both education and awareness. Every American is connected to someone outside the United States. It’s impossible to ignore the banter of a trend in the Facebook and Twitter from people overseas. Soccer is one of those constant trends.
The reverse is also true. More Europeans are getting interested in American football and baseball.
Social media is knocking the walls down on a diversity of interests, turning niche interests into global communities. The same phenomena is happening in music, whereby Electronica is now mainstream in America.
Sharing similar interests can only be a good thing for world culture. We can make easier connections and understand each other better. The Internet has made people more open and less myopic.
Now this should be the US Men’s Soccer Jersey.