Arsenal and England’s Wilshere prepares merchandise launch

England and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is preparing the launch of his own merchandise range to exploit his growing fame.

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The 19-year-old footballer made his full England debut in February when he started a friendly against Denmark and is already a regular starter for his club side.

The new JW 19 range, which reflects Wilshere’s Arsenal squad number, could include clothing, games, bedding, jewellery, mobile phone accessories and stationery.

JW 19 alongside Wilshere 19 and Jack Wilshere 19 were registered as trademarks with the Intellectual Property Office last month.

Simon Bayliff, Wilshere’s licensed agent and senior vice-president of Wasserman Media Group, says: “There is a necessity to apply for trademarks for certain sports people if they are going to get to a level where they can exploit those trademarks. This move is one more of preparation rather than utilisation.”

The move reflects the growing popularity of the Premier League worldwide. Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney earns an estimated £2.5m a year from key sponsors Nike, Coca-Cola, Harper Collins and EA Sports.

And David Beckham, who also found fame at Manchester United, is the richest footballer in the world, with his wealth largely accumulated from sponsorship deals with brands such as Pepsi and Adidas, according to Forbes Magazine.

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