Friday, 20 April 2007

Mega Becks !....what would portend for commercialising Soccer

David Beckham wearing the no.23 playing for LA Galaxy scores his first goal...this comes from his trademark free-kick, a curling free-kick from outside the box...! That will be the sports commentator's comments as he tries to commentate a football('saka') game in the summer season of the Major League Soccer-MLS.
This is an attempt to attract as much attention on the MLS as they did in the late 1970s when the then North America Soccer League. Big names such as Franz Beckenbeur and even Edson Arantes do Nascimento-Pele graced the grounds to try and attract football ('saka' to Americans) and with it the gravy train in sponsorship and commercial gains in the North Americas. That attempt did not work then because of obvious reasons, the American public was just not receptive to the game not just on TV but even on stadiums.
After USA hosted the World Cup in 1994, there was renewed interest in the game though with marginal increases every season. The MLS was also formed to try and get additional local talent and hopefully export the outstanding guys to the top leagues in Europe. That has been fairly successful.
Back to Becks though ! This attempt by the LA Galaxys to lure the biggest marketing tool for football at the moment, might change the picture slightly. Given that the US public has the love of glamour and galore in sports, what more could they get than David Beckham himself !
The commercial directors at the MLS must be smiling with glee because for the first time, the game tickets for the team have been sold out. The league has also started sending scouts and there is even rumour that they might lure Zinedine Zidane back into his playing boots. Zenden currently playing for Liverpool is another star attraction.
That ought to tell you the potential that's around for football-marketing and commercialisation. Starting from sponsorship, endorsements, TV rights to cross-continental visits( read games with more established European teams), the $$$ have just started ^^^!
Interesting take is that there are quite a handful of Americans ( Glazers , Gilletts and even a more recent one Kroenke has been throwing roses at the British owners...just time before they falter !)

PoInT oF iNtErEsT:
KFF had proposals from South Africa Premier League for sponsorship worth KSh.100 m. Can they style up please ? Missed opportunities I can't even start to enumerate them...! Do they want to lure such names for them to get the house in order ?

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