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Beckhams try to bend U.S. will in press tour

LONDON — Simon Fuller, creator of hit talent series “American Idol,” has inked a deal with top soccer player David Beckham and his wife, Victoria, a former member of the Spice Girls, to turn the celebrity couple into a global brand.

The pair want to crack the U.S. after last month’s visit failed to raise their profile. The couple appeared at the MTV Movie Awards but neither the U.S. press nor Hollywood responded as keenly as the Beckhams would have liked.

Fuller has garnered a reputation for launching the pop careers of Brit bestsellers S Club 7, Will Young and Gareth Gates, winner and runner-up, respectively, on ITV’s “Pop Idol.”

He also managed the Spice Girls and is helping kickstart the solo careers of Victoria Beckham and former band member Emma Bunton.

Victoria Beckham’s self-titled album, released in 2001, failed to live up to the expectations of her record label Virgin, which dropped her. She is also working with hip-hop mogul Damon Dash on her music, as well as repping his clothing line.

Fuller wants to take the Beckham brand across music, fashion and TV, including product endorsements, television shows, mobile phone video clips and fashion boutiques.

‘Family values’

“The Beckham brand is about aspiration and family values. The couple came from nothing to achieve their dreams,” Fuller told the U.K.’s Times paper.

“People forget that Victoria is better known than David in parts of the world because of the Spice Girls. The combination of Victoria’s glamour and David’s sex appeal and sporting prowess could create a $1 billion brand,” he said.

Fuller’s company 19 Entertainment is in talks with David’s management company SFX, a division of U.S. media group Clear Channel, about joint ventures.

David, a former Manchester United player, recently signed a £25 million ($40 million) transfer deal to join Spanish team Real Madrid.

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