David Beckham‘s Miami franchise project could very well make soccer a more popular sport in the USA, as it continues to grow.
It is evident that the main reason for Beckham’s new plan with the Miami franchise is to expand a sport that is currently below the other sports, in terms of interest. This is a unique position for a game that is the world’s most popular.
Although there will obviously be financial gain for Beckham and his partners, it cannot be denied that his intention is to help grow soccer in North America. Beckham shocked the world, as he moved to the LA Galaxy from Real Madrid back in 2007 to start that journey. His desire was to see this nation, that he describes as ‘fun,’ love the sport he devoted his life to.
In the USA, the name Beckham is not on the same level of familiarity as the other areas on the globe. Travel to Asia, and it is well noted that you will rarely fail to see a young child in a Beckham shirt; go to Europe, and his brand is as big as the leading market competitors. ‘Brand Beckham’ is huge, as it stretches from his football influence to advertisement and clothing. But as he now looks towards the new Miami franchise, it is evident that he will harness that power that he has created to push the MLS into a new level.
Beckham has only ever reached his heights through hard work, but his confidence in the sport growing in the USA is, for me, one of the main reasons that this could really work. He is certain that the sport can explode in time and be up there with the likes of football, basketball and baseball. I can see him creating the Miami franchise into a commercial success at first, something that will grab attention. But Beckham will create a longevity in it to see it last for more than a mere year or so. It won’t fade away.
The quesiton is, what heights can it hit? The multi-billion dollar deals that the NFL has with TV stations makes the mere $10 million MLS deal look pathetic. It means that the MLS struggles to produce the quality of sport, as less can be pushed into youth levels. With the lack of in-game adverts in soccer, it is almost impossible to ever bring in the interest from major sponsors that the other American sports do. But this is where Beckham’s plans can start something. His name is huge and this is his latest adventure. I expect it to grow and be pushed forward by him into a worldwide known brand within sports. Even if it lacks the passion that a Manchester United or Real Madrid craze has, I can see it being a commercial success. From that grows interest, and hopefully it will help Americans realize that this soccer is worth taking the time to look at.
I don’t think soccer will ever be bigger than the other sports in the USA, but it can grow to be up there. With the English Premier League being aired live on American TV this season, it is just the beginning of a period where it will begin to develop. Like him or not, you can only respect Beckham for trying to grow his beloved soccer in a huge nation that has yet to quite get to grips with its authentic and European feel.