Beckhams return to the UK as China visit triggers “uninhibited displays of Beckham-mania”

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(London 27th June 2013) As David Beckham completed his second trip to China as Ambassador for the Chinese Super League today, the world’s newspaper, TV and social media have reflected the dramatic impact of a visit which saw huge crowds, daily updates on China’s national state TV channel CCTV and a frenzy of social media activity. China’s leading tabloid newspaper The Global Times today commented:

“He has millions of Chinese fans who appreciate his efforts off the field, as well as his respectable status as a family man and role model. His visits to China have only served to cement his glowing reputation and have triggered uninhibited displays of “Beckham-mania.”

Mr Beckham was accompanied by his wife Victoria Beckham and his manager Mr Simon Fuller throughout his time in Beijing. Highlights of the trip, which ran from 17th June to 25th June 2013, included:

A 60 minute TV gala charity auction, hosted by Mr and Mrs Beckham, for the Soong Ching Ling Foundation in Beijing, which raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to help young people across China. The show was shown live on CCTV, the national state broadcaster that reaches over 1 billion Chinese TV viewers, including the auction of a Jaguar sports car donated by Mrs Beckham.

Mr Beckham’s attendance of a Chinese Super League game (attendance 30,000) at Hangzhou on June 22nd between Hangzhou Greentown and Beijing Guoan, which saw Greentown win 2.1. Mr Beckham participated in a half time game with local school children shown live on CCTV5.

Mrs Beckham attended official functions linked to her award winning fashion business, including sold out customer events at Joyce store Beijing and Lane Crawford store at the Yintai Centre Beijing in celebration of her ready-to-wear collection and to preview Autumn / Winter 2013 as a guest of Lane Crawford fashion director Sarah Rutson.

Mr Beckham undertook a visit to the Children’s Hospital in Hanghzou, Zhejiang.

Mr Beckham attended a CSL Forum at the Nanjing Hilton to participate in a discussion on sport in China, and specifically the development of the football at grass roots level. Mr Beckham joined a number of CSL Club executives and representatives from CFA and the CSL at the event.

Mr and Mrs Beckham met with officials including Cai Zhenhua, Vice Minister of the General Administration of Sport in China, Ms Zhao Wen, Vice Mayor of Shanghai, the senior officials of the CFA and the CSL, Mr Brian Davidson the Consul General to Shanghai, the Principle of Shanghai Tongji University, Ms Angelica Cheung the editor of Vogue China, Mr Sebastian Wood the British Ambassador to China, and the owners and fans of several CSL football clubs.

The Beckham’s visit to China has resulted in a spike in social media activity. Mr Beckham’s facebook page has climbed to 27.9 million likes, Mrs Beckham’s twitter feed has grown to 6.9 million followers. Within ten days of launching in China David Beckham has 1.2 million followers on Tencent and 700k on Sina (Chinese micro blogging sites), and Victoria has 3.3 million followers on Tencent and 1.4 million on Sina.

The Beckham’s visit to China was arranged by their business partner Simon Fuller, in partnership with IMG Worldwide, the commercial partner of the CSL.

Issued by XIX Entertainment.