June 24, 2013 09:28 ET

IMG Worldwide Brokers Major Partnership Between China Car Rental and Global Superstar David Beckham

BEIJING--(Marketwired - Jun 24, 2013) - IMG Worldwide, the global sports, fashion and media company and strategic partner of the China SuperLeague (CSL), announced today that it had negotiated a major partnership between China Auto Rental (CAR), the largest company in China's burgeoning car rental industry, and iconic footballer David Beckham. This new partnership builds on the extraordinary commitment Beckham has made to developing and inspiring young Chinese to follow and play the sport of football.

The alliance with China Auto Rental was announced today as Beckham concluded his second visit to China as Ambassador to the CSL and youth development of the game in China. IMG, in partnership with Simon Fuller, CEO of XIX Entertainment, who represents David Beckham, arranged and hosted the visit. During the seven-day ambassadorial tour, Beckham visited football clubs and youth football programs in Nanjing, Shanghai and Hangzhou. 

Today's partnership is Beckham's first business partnership since the announcement of his retirement from his football career on May 16th this year. It follows previously announced IMG brokered sponsorship deals for the CSL, with Carlsberg China as the official beer company of the CSL and Jingdon, as the official online retail partner of the League.

China Auto Rental, after five years of rapid development, has earned an indisputable leading position in China's car rental industry. The company not only leads in scale, in terms of fleet size, network coverage and brand awareness, etc., but has also established an exclusive partnership with global leading car rental brand, Hertz Corporation, this April, with strategic investments from Hertz and comprehensive business cooperation. The partnership Beckham embodies China Auto Rental's future five-year plan of action, involving implementation of technology research and development, product design and service optimization in all aspects.

One of CAR's forward-thinking initiatives is the CAR Cloud Strategy. Evolved from cloud concepts and technology, the core of CAR Cloud Strategy is to create fully shared resources of cars for a mobility experience anytime, anywhere, on-demand and pay-for-use, simple and convenient. With Cloud Strategy, China Auto Rental will provide individual customers with a rich diversity of vehicle models and a pleasant, convenient car hire experience, as well as provide corporate clients with one-stop, low-cost solutions and complete fleet management reports. It will create a new trend of solutions to meet both individual and corporate car use demand in China.

Lu Zhengyao, Chairman of CAR, said, "We are extremely pleased to have entered into this partnership with David, a global football icon. Together our goal is to promote healthy living, a commitment to sport and innovative solutions to car rentals. We at CAR are proud that David has agreed to support us in our future business initiatives."

On the partnership with CAR, David Beckham said, "China holds a special place in my heart. I have seen with my own eyes the joys and aspirations of this country during my multiple visits here. It is an honour to have established this partnership with a company as dynamic and innovative as CAR. I would like to personally thank Chairman Lu for his commitment to this relationship as well as congratulate him on the amazing success of CAR."

Adam Zhu, Vice Chairman of IMG Asia Pacific and Chairman and President of IMG Greater China, said, "This alliance is the perfect fit for David. He will be associated with one of the fastest growing businesses in China and one that is already a sponsor of the CSL. David's popularity in China will also be instrumental to the future growth of CAR. We are very pleased with our leadership role in this exciting partnership."

About China Auto Rental

China Auto Rental Holdings Inc. (CAR) was established in September 2007, and is headquartered in Beijing. As China's largest car rental service provider, CAR is dedicated to providing customers across China with superior car rental services including short-term and long-term rentals, financial leasing, as well as assorted value-added services of roadside assistance, one-way rentals, etc. As of February 2013, CAR operated in 66 major cities, at 52 airports across China with approximately 700 service locations, serving more than 1 million customers and approximately 10,000 corporate clients.

Since establishment, CAR has received outstanding customer and social reviews nationwide. In 2008, CAR served as the official car rental service provider of the 29th Summer Olympic Games, and was awarded the 21st Century Future Star by China Entrepreneur Magazine. In 2009, CAR was listed as one of Forbes China's High Potential Enterprises. In 2010, CAR was named New Fortune's Highest Potential Business Model and's Annual Best Car Rental Service Award. In 2011, CAR received the 5th Management Action Gold Award from Harvard Business Review, Best Service Award by China Brand Festival, and Best Rental Car Company by National Geographic Traveler. CAR was also voted the 2012 Deloitte Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500, and topped the Chinese Brand Power Index of the Car Rental Industry, becoming the most trustworthy brand of car rental service for customers in China. 

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants named CAR the most recognized car rental brand in China, with indisputable leadership in the scale of fleet size, network coverage, market share and revenue. 

Legend Holdings, Hertz Corporation and Warburg Pincus are the company's major shareholders.

About David Beckham

David Beckham (David Robert Joseph Beckham, born in May 2nd, 1975), the former England Football Club captain, who has played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan, LA Galaxy, Paris Saint-Germain and other clubs, has won 19 champion titles in his football career. He is the first English player to have won four league champion titles in Europe and North America. He was named English Footballer, European Footballer, and Mr. World Footballer runner-up in 1999 and 2001.

Beckham's achievements in football have vaulted him to international celebrity. In 2008 Beckham acted as London Olympics ambassador and successfully promoted London as the choice to the world. His hard-working, healthy and stylish image is known worldwide.

He also served as spokesperson for Nike, Adidas, Pepsi, Armani and other companies.

In March 2013, Beckham officially became the ambassador of China Youth Football Development and Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL).

On May 16th, 2013, David Beckham announced retirement from his football career in front of the world, concluding a football career full of legend and glory.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jim Gallagher
    IMG Worldwide