Brand Beckham Comes to Hollywood for $320 million

Shourin got it right earlier, Beckham is coming to America.
But it’s not about soccer in the end. It’s about branding.
Let’s see if brand Beckham can spark product extensions in:
a) Hollywood movies
b) TV advertising
c) a sitcome
d) a talkshow
e) a candy bar
and oh,
f) America’s MLS
The Guardian tells us:
“British media went cash crazy on Friday as they toyed with the figures David Beckham will earn after he moves to LA Galaxy and a new life.
The Daily Express said the 31-year-old former England captain had signed “the most mind-boggling contract in global sport”.
The Sun quoted Jonathan Woodgate, a former England and Real Madrid team mate of Beckham’s, as forecasting the midfielder’s move would open up the floodgates for other top players. The paper said Beckham aimed to tempt former Real team-mates Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and Luis Figo to join him in the U.S.
It devoted eight pages to the player’s move, including the front which calculated that his estimated 128 million pounds ($247.6 million) five-year deal would work out at 50 pounds ($96) a minute.
The Daily Telegragh said the deal would help put Beckham’s earning power on a par with the biggest names in American sport.
The Star forecast the former Manchester United man would become bigger than Pele who also played in the U.S. after coming out of retirement in 1975.
The rags don’t get it. This is not about football.
It’s about milking a brand. Image rights. Movies. Advertising.

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7 comments on “Brand Beckham Comes to Hollywood for $320 million
  1. It turns out that $200 million of the $250 million in Beckham’s deal is endorsements. (As Jerry Seinfeld says, “not that there is anything WRONG with that…”) According to the WSJ, his salary is $10 million per year (down from $16 million at Real Madrid); plus he gets 40% to 50% of team jersey sales and a cut of the gate.
    Within a few hours of the announcement, LA sold 1,000 new seasons tickets and 100 new premium boxes.

  2. Tilam
    That is good for the MLS cash register and Becks. But how does this help the game? All this amounts to armchair altruism, little else.

  3. SR,
    You know I am alot less anti-Beckham then most, but I am deeply concerned that this is, in fact, the first step in making the same mistakes that the NASL made.
    1. Brand Beckham is tailor-made for LA and a country that does not make a distinction between athletes and movie stars (and Kobe/Nomar will NEVER get the kind of play in People, Us, In Style, etc. as the Beckhams will).
    2. $250 million is going to get attention. While I think that there are very few world stars that can command the type of endorsement money that Beckham received, there are a number who might just consider trying.
    By this I meant Beckham has bankable sex appeal and a drop dead gorgeous wife. The Wayne Rooneys of the world need not apply. There are few major footballers handsome enough and good enough to get nine figures. (And I do agree that Posh is a big part of those $$$.)
    3. At 31, he has certainly lost a step or two, but he still can play even if not at Real’s or ManU’s standards.
    This transaction is not the answer, but it is a big step up in seriousness (read $$$). Henry and Ronaldo (Cristiano, that is) will definitely take note.
    If (and this is a big “if”) this can translate into more interest in the MLS, the MLS can make strides to becoming the system we here at SoccerBlog think it can be.

  4. Tilam
    I agree with you that as a soccer celebrity Beckham is bankable. But the economics of this deal is just totally screwed up. The MLS capitalization is ten billion dollars tops. We are paying a single player 50 million dollars a year!
    His soccer skills past his prime would fetch at best 8-10 million dollars. We are paying 40 million dollars for his and Posh’s name. This really reflects poorly on the MLS. As far as reeling other players in like Henry and Ronaldo, the Posh factor is missing in their equation.
    I also think that we have not explored what effect this huge imbalance will have on the no name MLS players who earn a fraction of what Beckham earns but believe they have as much to contribute to their team’s success. A lot depends on how Becks interacts with his LA Galaxy team mates. It will definitely be different from seeing fellow superstars like Zidane, Raul, Ronaldo, and Nistelrooy at Real and Giggs, Scholes, and Keane at Man Utd suit up for their matches.

  5. “this beckham deal is beginning to do my head in. If you read what the actual split of it is, it is as follows ¿10m in wages from La galaxy.. EQUAL TO HIS MADRID CONTRACT $25m in HIS SPONSORSHIP… WHICH HE ALREADY GETS $10m in Image rights..WHICH HE ALREADY GETS $10m in profits from LA GALAXY This is $55m aseason… he already gets the majority of this at present, so he is only increasing his wages by $10m in profits. So, even though i don’t like the guy, he isn’t going there purely for money as he already gets almost the same as it is.” BUSSDEAN in a TeamTalk dot com post.
    Makes some sense to me.

  6. SR & Tom,
    I think we can all agree that time will tell whether this deal will benefit MLS or not.
    SR, I am not as pessimistic as you are because I think that the LA people worked the numbers hard on this. 80% of the deal is “contingent” in the sense that if the sales are not there, neither is the $$$. (Because of that, I am pulling for him to make LOTS of money.)
    I also fully agree with your point that as appealing as Zidane, Henry and Ronaldo are, they do not have the tabloid appeal the Beckhams do. The Beckhams very public lifestyle is just something most people can not tolerate.
    My last point is that this deal will not matter that much by itself. Brand Beckham is unique in all of sports. (This is not to say there are not alot of marketable couples; just that the marketable couples (Gretzky/Jones; Sehorn/Harmon; Sampras/Wilson to name a few actress/sports stars) don’t seem all that anxious to market themselves as a couple.) What matters more are the next two deals. If the “Beckham Rule” causes a rush to sign-up $7-10MM per year men, the MLS is in deep doo-doo.

  7. now that becks decided to live to adventure the U.S.A,makes quite sense in that he will be able to understand why the U.S is a super power and not good in football

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