The world’s most famous soccer player is coming to America! Starting this year, David Beckham will play for the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer (MLS).
Beckham is a pop culture icon. He’s famous for his looks, his wife Victoria, and his commercial appeal. And yes, he even has a movie named after him – “Bend It Like Beckham”.
Is it time to celebrate? Do you even care or watch soccer at all? Like I said before, Soccer is seen as a second class sport in this part of the world. If you live in North America, chances are you probably don’t watch a single soccer game throughout the year (as evidenced by the 0.6 ratings MLS receives on the ABC and ESPN network). And I bet you don’t even know who won the MLS Championship last year either.
MLS is supposed to be the premier professional soccer league in North America. Founded in 1993, the league has faced constant challenges, including low TV ratings, decreasing attendance and ownership problems. According to Business Week, the league has lost $350 million dollars since its inception. By signing Beckham to a five year package worth $250 million dollars, MLS has garnered media attention that it would otherwise not receive. It’s also been reported that Beckham’s endorsers will be paying a majority of his retainer fee rather than the league. he is “only” 31 which is old for soccer. Yes he was kicked off the English National team and was not being played by R. Madrid. His $50 million a year is his salary. It does not include any endorsements. Tiger earns about $6 million from playing golf the rest is endorsements.
But will this hefty investment pay off in the long run? A lot depends on TV ratings. It’s pretty obvious that MLS has failed to capitalize on building momentum in the USA. Major sponsors have been reluctant to invest in any league with low TV ratings and little fanfare. Plus, soccer has nowhere near the amount of television breaks that other professional sports provide (NFL, MLB, NBA, etc). Soccer is known as the “World’s Game”. And there will always be a dedicated following in North America. But if Beckham fails to capture the mainstream audience (you know, the people who pay the bills), his contract may end up as a costly mistake. During the 1970’s, the North American Soccer League (NASL) tried a similar move by signing over the hill stars to expensive contracts. After a few successful seasons, the NASL folded in 1984. We do not know what the end result will be, but we can only speculate, but I do know one thing, Mrs. “Becks” will love living in L.A. The participation in the leagues should be done after gathering information at https://www.adweek.com/tvnewser/the-best-blog-youre-not-reading-this-is-american-soccer/87164/ for the players. The results will be great to know about the soccer and team players. The information about the contracts will be great with the person for better results.