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Coming to scenic Carson, California
2007-01-11 08:07
by Bob Timmermann

David Beckham announced that he has signed a five-year contract to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy. I'm sure that the Beckhams will enjoy Carson, California where the Galaxy play at the Home Depot Center.

They can go see the Goodyear blimp Spirit of America flying around. It's quite a sight.

You can also go to Carson to go look at this giant statue of a golfer at the Dominguez Golf Course.

Update from Ken Arneson from Fox Sports

2007-01-11 09:47:45
1.   Ken Arneson
A-Rod money ($250 million) for a player who is clearly well over the hill, in a league that has nowhere near MLB's revenues?

Sounds like MLS just committed financial suicide. I can't see how this can be anything other than a total, total disaster for professional soccer in North America.

2007-01-11 09:58:12
2.   Bob Timmermann
But he's famous! And it's glamorous.
2007-01-11 10:00:27
3.   El Lay Dave
Perception that the U.S. - and L.A. in particular - is a people / celebrity driven culture? Certainly it will cause an interest spike, but I doubt this can cultivate a serious number of long-term fans.
2007-01-11 10:06:33
4.   Bob Timmermann
Don't you remember how many Aztecs fans were developed when Cruyff played here?


Or maybe a dozen.

2007-01-11 10:22:19
5.   Penarol1916
I'm still staying away until they sign Alvaro Recoba.
2007-01-11 10:43:02
6.   El Lay Dave
But who was Cruyff's wife?
2007-01-11 10:52:39
7.   Xeifrank
I still remember all the attention to soccer in America that Pele brought when he signed up to play for the NY Cosmos. He was also at the tail end of his career. Beckham is no Pele and I don't see how the MLS can recoup this $250mil even taking into account long-term benefits to the league from his signing. Soccer is a tremendously popular sport in America as far as youth participation goes, but once you get to the professional levels there isn't that much interest. As a soccer fan though, I am pretty excited that Beckham will be playing in the LA area. I assume that Landon Donovan is still under contract and the pair should be quite a draw. Don't forget that Carson also has an IKEA and some of the better Korean BBQs. vr, Xei
2007-01-11 10:53:15
8.   Bob Timmermann
I don't know if Cruyff is still married to the woman in this article, but she seems to have had some influence over him:

2007-01-11 10:57:59
9.   El Lay Dave
Joumana Kidd's mentor?
2007-01-11 11:12:52
10.   Ken Arneson
Update: this article:

says Beckham gets $38 million a year, but MLS is only responsible for $400,000.

OK, but then who is paying him the other $37,600,000 per year...and why?

2007-01-11 11:39:54
11.   djramone
The owners of the LA Galaxy are paying the remainder (this is all part of the so-called "Beckham exception"), because they stand to make millions from Beckham jersey sales.
2007-01-11 12:24:26
12.   Clive Clements
So Anschutz is spending about the same amount of money on Beckham as he is on the entire LA Kings payroll? Sweet!
2007-01-11 12:32:35
13.   Ken Arneson
12 Let's say the Galaxy sold out their entire season. That's 18 games * 27,000 seats = 486,000 seats sold.

And let's say they sold one article of clothing to every single person who came through the gates every single game.

To make $37,600,000 on that deal they would need a margin of $37,600,000 / 486,000 = $77.36 on each article of clothing sold in order to make a profit.

It all sounds like extremely wishful thinking to me.

2007-01-11 12:54:43
14.   El Lay Dave
13 I agree, and your estimate is graciously optimistic as well, but does the Galaxy get a cut of ALL Galaxy/Beckham merchandise sales worldwide? That said, would, say, Britons (or other Europeans) buy an L.A. Galaxy Beckham jersey?

Of course, I don't even understand how the D'backs recoup the cost of the Unit's contract either, so I'm totally lost in the soccer discussion!

2007-01-11 13:18:12
15.   xaphor
The real value is that with a single purchase the LA Galaxy have increased their world wide exposure and become ubiquitous with American Soccer throughout most of the world. The shirt sales are nice, but would be nicer if they carried a sponsor as it is in increased and more profitable sponsorship where the Galaxy will look to recoup Beckham's cost (which doesn't include a transfer fee, just salary, so they saved a bundle there). Especially if like his Real Madrid contract, this deal includes a clause which pays the team a percentage of the money Beckham makes from personal advertisements.

When Real Madrid bought Beckham from Man Utd., for what seemed like an ungodly sum back then, everyone balked at the price. But since then Madrid has become the most well known and highest earning club in the world (replacing United) without winning a single major trophy. True, Madrid was in a far better shape to capitalize on Becks, but I think there should be enough left in the pretty boy with the wicked right foot to make the Galaxy happy.

2007-01-11 13:18:23
16.   Penarol1916
14. The real money is to be made from the Asian soccer fans. They truly worship Beckham there. That is how Real Madrid justified the cost of its contract to him. I really don't know how much Anshultz would net from those sales, but my guess is though, that the expected number of Beckham jersey sales as of this transaction are more than a multiple of 10 of what you are anticipating.
2007-01-11 13:45:58
17.   Voxter
15 - I see two major differences with this scenario:

First, Becks was still good in those days. Now, it's clear that his skills have deteriorated pretty far -- and unlike Pelé, he was never the greatest player in the world; it's possible he won't even be the best player in the league.

Second, and more important, Real Madrid was already an incredibly rich and powerful club on the international scene when they bought Becks. They already had Luis Figo, Zidane, and Ronaldo. They were coming off two victories in La Liga in three years, had won the ECC just the year before, and had won the Spanish Copa twice in three years. Beckham, though their most famous player, was never meant to be their best, and though the team did not play as well during his tenure, remained a force in European football, finishing second in La Liga and advancing to the quarterfinals of the ECC (a result by which some were disappointed, but still a fairly strong showing) in Beckham's second year. None of these things are going to happen to the LA Galaxy when Beckham's around, and I have grave doubts about whether the European market will take much interest past the initial stages -- and I also have grave doubts about whether the American market will respond to Becks in the same way it responded to Pele, mostly because he's not nearly as good.

2007-01-11 13:57:07
18.   trainwreck
The rest of the world does not care frankly. They know American futbol stinks and this is not going to make a difference. He will probably become more of a joke in England and he really only appeals to girls that think he is hot.
2007-01-11 14:07:03
19.   trainwreck
That Asian market is a good point. They can make a lot from merchandizing there, but I still doubt they get many people to watch a lot of games. I think overtime, the publicity will completely go away.
2007-01-11 14:08:49
20.   Xeifrank
16. Yes, soccer is huge in Asia. When I was there it seemed more popular than the NBA. But both are pretty huge with the under 25 crowd. vr, Xei
2007-01-11 14:24:23
21.   Penarol1916
19. I doubt that they'll get people to watch a lot of games, but the merchandise sales for the little teenybopper Asian girls who love Beckham more than anything will probably make this a profitable deal for Phil.
2007-01-11 14:27:56
22.   xaphor
17. No doubt Beckham is not the player he was 4 years ago, but playing in the MLS instead of La Liga he hardley needs to be to remain an influential factor for the team.

While the top out on how high the Galaxy can go in regards to earnings and honours is nothing compared to those of Real Madrid, the room for improvement is far greater. I agree Pele was a much better player, but Beckham is better known and in more circles of life. Beckham has the ability to expand the game to reach untaped markets and provide the Galaxy with more marketing than they could ever possibly spend. From movie premieres with the LA Galaxy's Beckham in the entertainment digests to economic impact studies and from teen magazines to the sports pages he is a lightning rod for publicity. You can't buy that kind of advertising (to make ironic use of the phrase).

Coming from a league still trying to garner a foothold within its own borders you don't need the world to be watching all of your games to consider the signing a success. Just having the world constantly aware of your existence is a huge step in the right direction for the sport here in the US. I think the timing and the seriousness of the league is better now than when Pele and Beckenbauer made their trek across the pond.

2007-01-11 14:33:07
23.   Xeifrank
21. I will have to load up the suitcase with Beckham jerseys on my upcoming trip to China. But then again, I doubt anyone would be willing to fork over two weeks worth of salary for his jersey. I will have my marketing people look into it. :)
vr, Xei
2007-01-11 18:08:18
24.   vockins
I think I'm going to start using the "Asian market" defense for the next year.

Wife: Where the hell did that Corvette Z06 come from, and where the hell did you get the money to pay for it?

me: I opened two more credit card accounts and got a second mortgage, honey. This is the kind of investment that's really going to pay for itself multiple times in the Asian market.

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