End of the Beginning or Beginning of the End for MLS?

LA Galaxy have signed Real Madrid and former Manchester United star David Beckham for a 5-year deal said to be worth $250 million. Until now MLS has made few attempts to sign big names and have built audiences slowly. This looks like a big push to make a bigger national impact. Apart from wondering whether soccer can make it big in the US (I subscribe to law of large numbers here: try often enough and one day you’ll get lucky), the big question may be whether Beckham is worth the money. He has been the biggest commercial draw in soccer for the last ten years, despite not being rated the best player. He has also opened branches of his soccer academy in LA, giving him another marketing foothold. But 2006 was not a great season for him, and he is clearly on the decline. Still, we can surely expect some significant promotional investments in order to market this property.

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Author: Stefan Szymanski

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