By Ed Attwood
Tennis star says no recent contact with ACI, the developer behind Boris Becker Business Tower
Tennis legend Boris Becker has said that he is no longer involved in the Dubai project that bears his name, nor has he been in recent contact with project developer ACI.
In 2008, ACI and Becker announced the launch of the Boris Becker Business Tower in the Business Bay area of the city, alongside Michael Schumacher and Niki Lauda, who also had towers named after them,
“Well, it’s been a couple of years ago since I was involved in that, so I don’t have the latest news as to what is happening with the project,” Becker told Arabian Business on the sidelines of the Laureus Sports Awards in Abu Dhabi.
When questioned as to whether he was still in contact with ACI, Becker replied that he was not.
The former tennis ace – the youngest player ever to win Wimbledon – also said that he was unsure whether he was still involved with the project at all.
“I have to think about it, because I believe the deal was three or four years old and I’m not sure whether I’m still involved,” Becker added. “The name is still on it, but whether I’m personally involved? I don’t think so.”
Construction on all three branded projects stalled in 2009, following the collapse of Dubai’s real estate market.
ACI’s website still lists 11 projects that it claims are under development, with another six being undertaken by “alternate third party developers”.
In September last year, ACI Real Estate filed for bankruptcy on four of its seven property funds. Payments were due in March last year but did not materialise.
Becker is not the only star who has distanced himself from the project. Speaking to Arabian Business at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this year, Niki Lauda said that he had only met the CEO of ACI on one occasion.
“All I did was give my name to a builder in Dubai but unfortunately they are in a mess,” Lauda said. “I don’t know exactly what the details are because I have nothing to do with bringing the tower up, this was the builder who did it.”
Back in 2008, Becker told Arabian Business that he hoped that his tower in Dubai would be the first of many.
"It's my first business tower. It is a proud moment to have a building named after you,” he said.
“In 10 years time, you're always going to remember the first one - I'm never going to remember the fifth one. It's a special day for me and for ACI as well. We are planning many things."
It's always impressive how people have short memory when others are losing money because of them sponsoring a project and how quick they recover memory when it comes to earn money.
It is even more impressive that people could consider such an endorsement as a deciding factor in any kind of decision, specially a financial one.
Whether you like or not Mr. Becker - you are involved. Its called the Boris Becker Business Tower. The only way you will not be involved is if YOU change your name.
When a person of his caliber endorses such a project people believe it to be real and safe and in instances like this it does become a deciding factor. In this case it's turned out to be a mirage like so many more!
How much was he paid? Like it or not people do put money into an endorsed product like this considering that a tennis great promoted it believing that if it is endorsed it is a safe investment...it's like anything else...the trump tower and you have the shumacker and nicki lauder towers also like the becker tower in business bay...
Brands like Boris Becker, Schuhmacher or Tigerwoods are Brand names and sell their name for perfumes, shoes or underwear - or a Business Tower ... foolish to think they make those things or have any thing else to do with it - should not take much to figure that out.
I still can not understand why. He has been paid to lend his name to a project. That is it. He has nothing at stake really, a failed real estate project in Dubai with his name will do nothing to dent his public profile world wide... do you think people showing in ads really consume the products they sponsor?
Is people really so gullible? I mean we have been exposed to this for maybe 50 years or more...