At Digital MIPTV, the football icon and entrepreneur delivered his first in-depth television industry keynote.
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.
David Beckham announced a number of key projects it has in development, including a documentary about his life and career, a factual entertainment series Save Our Squad produced by Twenty Twenty and Studio 99 for Disney+ and the four-parter series A Whole New Ball Game for BBC Two.
The British football unveiled his own studio in 2019 to develop nonfiction programming and serve as a creative agency for brand partners. ‘I’d looked at Fulwell, companies like SpringHill (LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s company), and it just inspired me’, Beckham said to Ben Winston, producer and director owner of Fulwell 73, who conducted the interview. ‘I’ve been in front of the camera and on sets for the last 25 years. I’ve worked with some great people; I love the creative side. I wanted to be able to create content, which I’ve done for years, but be in control of that content’.
Beckham was also questioned about his decision to embrace social media and use it to share aspects of his personal life: ‘The good side of social media is that you can control your own content and your own narrative. I’ve never been a really open person. I’m a very private person but I like to share what I like. That’s the great thing about Instagram. That’s one of the reasons why the studio side is really interesting to me. I do have a huge following, I work with so many different brands’.
Regarding documentaries in development at Studio 99, there is a series on Inter Miami, the MLS club that Beckham co-owns. The story chart the journey of the new club, which Beckham began pursuing immediately after his retirement from professional football. ‘It was a big moment that I feel we’ve documented over the years. I always love to watch sports documentaries. Sunderland ’Til I Die, I love that documentary. Watching that documentary inspired me and I got so many great ideas from it. And the All or Nothing series. I’ve played with some of the best managers and some of the best players, that’s what I’ve tried to bring into Miami. We want to compete with the best. We want to be humble. We want to be hardworking. Most importantly, we want to win trophies. Making the documentary is our first big thing with the studio. We have a real opportunity to make some content that is going to be incredible and tell the story the way it was’.
Beckham is also fronting the factual-entertainment series Save Our Squad for Disney+, produced by Twenty Twenty and Studio 99. ‘It’s something I’m really excited about. I played grassroots football. I was part of a Sunday league team at 7 years old. This show is about giving back. It’s about giving these young kids the opportunity to work with me, to listen to my experiences of when I was their age’, added.
Studio 99 is also working with Story Films on A Whole New Ball Game, a four-parter for BBC Two, which promises to tell the definitive story of the early days of the Premier League. Meanwhile, with Matador Content there’s World War Shoe, about brothers Adi and Rudi Dassler, who founded a shoe company together in 1920s Germany but after falling out went their separate ways—with Adi setting up Adidas and Rudi founding Puma, literally on opposite sides of the same street