Last week when it was first revealed that Beckhams would feature in an Uber Eats Super Bowl ad, Jennifer Aniston’s name came up, sort of: 


I actually didn’t think it was really Jennifer, or Jessica, Aniston, I thought maybe that was part of the joke? It was not part of the joke, turns out that Jennifer Aniston is indeed in the Uber Eats commercial, along with David Schwimmer. A big paycheque for everyone then. Because these are big names – Jennifer Aniston, in particular, doesn’t necessarily need the hype from a Super Bowl commercial so I’m guessing Uber came in with the bank. 


I am here, though, to talk about the Beckhams, David in particular. Because even though this Super Bowl ad just dropped, it’s happening during some really bad press. David and Inter Miami were in Hong Kong a few days ago. It was a highly publicised match, tickets were expensive, and of course the big draw for Hong Kong was to see Lionel Messi in action. 

Becks is popular there too and he was soaking up the moment – I screamed when I saw this shot of him with the legendary Tony Leung: 


The event overall, however, was a bust. Because Messi didn’t play. In fact it seemed like there was no intention for him to play. He made the trip, but he barely engaged with the media, so the signs were there leading up to the match that the person that people showed up for and spent all that money to see would stay on the bench….

Resulting in boos and jeers, the whole thing has been described as a “disaster”, because the local government was involved in funding this exhibition, specifically as part of Hong Kong’s reopening post-COVID. Messi’s face was everywhere in HK leading up to the trip, and Inter Miami had time and opportunity to let people know about his condition, give people a heads up that he wouldn’t be on the pitch. 


So the fallout has, indeed, been disastrous, especially since it was part of the contract that Messi be part of the match. Now obviously he’s an athlete and injuries happen all the time, but the issue here is that Beckham and the team have been accused of poor communication or even obfuscation – and now there’s talk of pulling back on sponsorship funds for the team and a cloud over the rest of their Asia trip. 

Maybe, then, the Uber Eats campaign is coming at a good time for Becks as a distraction from all that bad publicity. That said, the comment section under his post for the Uber Eats ad is full of angry people telling him how badly he f-cked up the trip to Hong Kong. In the west, obviously, I feel like coverage of the situation has been muted. But it’s still a major misstep for someone who’s been riding a pretty smooth streak for a while. And who’s built a reputation of being a great sports executive – this is one of his most glaring stumbles.