Beckham Boots Up for AliExpress as E-Commerce Giants Battle for Budget-Conscious Shoppers

David Beckham poses prior to the 2023 Ballon d’Or France Football award ceremony at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on October 30, 2023. — Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Former footnall icon David Beckham is ready to “score more” for online shoppers everywhere. In a major move to compete with aggressive newcomer Temu, Alibaba has signed Beckham as a brand ambassador for its global e-commerce platform, AliExpress.

This strategic partnership comes as both companies vie for dominance in the market for affordable, China-made goods. Temu, owned by Alibaba’s rival PDD Holdings, made a splash earlier this year with Super Bowl ads urging viewers to “shop like a billionaire.” Their success, with app downloads surging 34% on Super Bowl Sunday alone, has clearly gotten Alibaba’s attention.

Alibaba is now playing catch-up, leveraging Beckham’s global appeal and the upcoming UEFA Euro 2024 tournament to reach budget-conscious football fans across Europe and Latin America. The campaign will run alongside AliExpress’ existing five-day delivery window on select products in 11 markets, a perk powered by the company’s robust logistics network.

While Alibaba has long envisioned a massive international consumer base, with founder Jack Ma aiming for 2 billion by 2036, analysts point to past execution stumbles. “Temu just went ahead and did it,” said Jianggan Li of Momentum Works, referring to Alibaba’s hesitance to compete with established players like Amazon.

Temu, offering everything from $5 earbuds to $10 dresses, has reportedly raked in a staggering $18 billion in revenue in 2023 according to CICC, a Chinese investment firm. PDD, however, doesn’t disclose separate figures for Temu.

This high-profile Beckham deal signals a new chapter in the e-commerce battleground. With both giants vying for the hearts (and wallets) of price-sensitive shoppers, consumers stand to benefit from a wider selection, faster deliveries, and potentially even steeper discounts.

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