Thursday, January 11, 2007

By George It's Real: Beckham To LA

Reuters is quoting David Beckham himself as saying his deal to move to LA is done.
"I have decided to join LA Galaxy."
He is under contract at Real Madrid until June 30th and will join Los Angeles after that date.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

have fun sorting through all those stories, dunord!

2:48 PM  
Anonymous JB said...

I am watching Sky sports right now and it is not stop Beckham. I am an MLS fan, I am a Beckham fan...but $250m, come on the whole isn"t worth $250m....I wish him luck but side with the last commentator I saw on Sky, he is not going to change around the attitude of americans regarding soccer...

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate this move by MLS. Hate it. Let's spend our money on a dynamic player who is fun to watch, not an over-the-hill free kick taker with a fetish for pedicures.

My point is how many people will watch soccer for the first time and see Beckham and say "Now there's a world-class athlete?"

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

Bringing Becks to America is not being done to change the attitude of Americans toward soccer. It is being done to sell tickets and get butts in the seats.

I'm going to post here what I posted on Throughball.com (yes josh, I'm a blog whore):

"Let’s be clear what the intent of this deal is and is not about. It is not about bringing legitimacy or prestige to the league. It is not about improving the level of play or growing soccer in America. It is not about attracting other oversees talent or converting other sports fans to soccer.

It is about one thing and one thing only: Putting butts in the seats/selling tickets/increasing attendance figures. Both at the HDC and in New York, Columbus, Chicago, Houston, Denver, Dallas and every other city that the Galaxy travels to. MLS needs to improve attendance and we shall see if this has an impact. If it does, and that translates to reaching the other objectives which I am discounting above then that will just be a bonus. But those goals are not the overarching reason for this move in my opinion.

And when I say “putting butts in the seats” I don’t mean the American soccer fans who don’t really care for MLS and that their interest in MLS will somehow grow becuase of this. And I don't mean adult MLS fans who might otherwise not go to as many MLS games. I mean the kids. The “Daddy, please take me to the DC United game so I can see David Beckham” kids. Soccer in this country is marketed to kids, pure and simple (and more so now to the Hispanic community who, I feel, won’t care that much about Beckham being in the league). The fact that soccer is marketed to kids is so apparently obvious – I see it plain and clear when I attend Minnesota Thunder games. And I expect that is exactly the marketing strategy they are feverishly devising at this very moment. How do we sell David Beckham to the kids who play soccer and get them to the games and, by doing so, sell at least 2 tickets in the process because Mommy or Daddy will have to take them there."

3:13 PM  
Anonymous bq said...

You are a blog whore Ken, and a fine one at that. And as I stated at Throughball.com, Ken once again hits a homerun with his comments.

http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1576807,00.html

3:38 PM  
Blogger tom said...

I hope he comes to the Jimmy for the Open Cup! I'm humming Frere Jacques as we speak.

Seriously though, I think this opens up a whole other dimension for MLS. Not only do we get the too-early-for-prime-time players before they ship off to Europe, now we've opened the floodgates for past-their-prime prima donnas on their way out of the Euro leagues.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous JB said...

so if it is all about putting the butts in the seats, the what does MLS expect for a return on the AEG $250m investment, 100K increase in attendance year over year, 500K - what is consider a decent over league attendance improvement? thoughts?

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

I guess you would have to ask MLS that question. I'm not a marketing guy myself. But my guess is they would expect to see an immediate spike which would then taper off over five years. I doubt if they expect to see an increase which would sustain itself year after year over the life of the Beckham contract (unless they have really naive marketing people).

They should start thinking now about who the next up-and-coming soccer star is who they can name another bubble gum soccer movie after so they can get him here after the Beckham glow wears off…

Meanwhile, I predict that Beckham will become a NASCAR fan and buy a bunch of cars and we'll see the "Beckham racing team" within a few years time...

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken
Couldn't some of those parents that take the kids to see Beckham at the same time be soccer fans who haven't really given MLS a chance?

smatthew

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry one more thing.

Ken
Just want to make sure you aren't saying getting butts in the seats is bad a thing, right?

smatthew

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Demko said...

I'm staying somewhat agnostic on this until more details emerge.

Will the publicity surrounding Beckham's decision to play in MLS benefit the league? Of course. Can he draw more than 12,000 fans to a game in K.C.? Don't expect miracles. Will he immediately become one of the top players in the league? Absolutely. Beckham might be overrated, but he's still a fantastic player and should have several good years left in his legs. And not playing internationally or in the champions league should extend his pro career considerably. He should have a considerable competitive impact on MLS in a way that Djorkaef, Matthaus, Donadoni and other euro old-timers never did.

Now is he worth $250 million? Absolutely not. But is that $250 million figure for real? And where does it come from? How much will be put up by AEG? How much by adidas? How much by other sponsors? There are too many unknowns.

I just received a spam email with the subject line "Beckham's coming to America | Video Video." I think that officially means soccer has penetrated the american consciousness. Or somesuch.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

smatthew,

No, I'm not saying that getting butts in the seats is a bad thing. I believe it is necessary to help make MLS profitable and that, in my mind, it is the biggest reason for bringing Beckham here. Making the league profitable is paramount to it's success, and therefore longevity. And I believe that should be the primary goal, not "converting" other sports fans to soccer, which I do not believe this will accomplish. I mentioned to several people at work today that David Beckham was coming to the USA and most of them had no idea who David Beckham was.

All other supposed benefits such as "growing soccer" are suspect in my mind and I have never been in the camp of "we need to make soccer more popular in America". I honestly don't care if football, or baseball or basketball or hockey fans become soccer fans. I honestly don't care if soccer becomes more "popular" or "respected" by Americans. Those who aren't soccer fans will say things like "change the rules so there is more scoring and that will make the game more popular here" and I say, if that is what has to happen in order for more Americans to "like" soccer then they can all go to hell and take their commercial breaks and instant replays and statistic mongering blabber faced sports commentators with them.

What I do care about is that we have a major professional league that survives. I hope this move helps to promote that goal. With regard to parents that take their kids to see Beckham who at the same time might be soccer fans who haven't really given MLS a chance: Yes, I imagine that could be a possibility. But I'm thinking that is a fairly small demographic.

MLS has to come up with ways to increase attendance on a permanent basis. That doesn't mean it has to become as popular as other sports for that to occur. Bringing Beckham here is just one tactic, it is not the only tactic.

7:08 PM  
Anonymous eLove said...

i read somewhere, today, in this news/buzz cloud, that as of 2pm eastern time, LA had already sold an additional 1000 season tickets! that's a lot. all i'm saying is that you can do so many other things with $953,000 per week. (maybe, like, fix some of the troubles in iraq?) or you could buy a couple more MLS teams. that would also put additional "butts in seats," in previously untapped markets.

i already hated LA Galazy, and David Beckham, so this is a perfect fit for me!

(yes, much of this is "tongue-in-cheek")

8:45 PM  

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