Beckham's 250-million-dollar Deal Could Convert US Fans 11:11 PM, January 11th 2007 The signing of David Beckham to the Los Angeles Galaxy in an estimated 250-million-dollar deal could be a vital move to turn the US into a "soccer nation," the country's football enthusiasts said Thursday. The LA Galaxy described the deal as the "biggest in sporting history" but said that the staggering amount was justified by Beckham's potential to transform football into a mainstream American sport. "David Beckham will have a greater impact on soccer in America than any athlete has ever had on a sport globally," said Tim Leiweke, the president of the Anschutz Entertainment Group, which runs the Galaxy. "David is truly the only individual that can build the bridge between soccer in America and the rest of the world." The luring to America of the former England captain and Real Madrid star was enabled by a rule change by Major League Soccer, the main football league in the US, which just last year allowed each team to exceed the team salary cap of 2 million dollars with a single player whose salary falls out of the budget. The new rule was nicknamed the "Beckham law" by fans of the sport. LA Galaxy refused to reveal the "financial details" of Beckham's contract, but added in a statement that "his earnings are likely to run into hundreds of millions of dollars over the five-year period when all incomes are collated." According to the British newspaper The Guardian, Beckham can expect to earn 25 million dollars per year from endorsements, 10 million dollars in salary, 10 million dollars in shirt sales, and a further share of the club's profits. European teams have stricter rules governing how much endorsement income a player may keep. Beckham's move to Los Angeles has been the subject of persistent rumours for months, fuelled by the location of his summer soccer academy in the city and the attraction of the showbiz capital for the sporting superstar and his singer wife Victoria Beckham, who was previously known as Posh Spice of the Spice Girls. The rumours went into overdrive recently when Victoria was spotted house hunting in ritzy Beverly Hills and other glamourous neighbourhoods. Beckham will not be the first footballing superstar in the US. Former Germany coach and playing great Juergen Klinsmann already lives in Los Angeles. A string of other greats have also made audacious bids to elevate football into the US sporting mainstream, including Brazilian legend Pele and Germany's Franz Beckenbauer, who played for the now defunct New York Cosmos in the 1970s, and Germany's Lothar Matthaeus, who spent part of 2000 playing for what was then known as the New Jersey MetroStars. While US sports enthusiasts largely rejected such efforts in favour of their homegrown baseball and US style football, Beckham's deal could be a breakthrough for the popularity of soccer, as it is known in the US. The growth of cable sports channels means there is a ready outlet for football games to be covered on television, say experts. Moreover, Beckham's image as a style and cultural superstar will give him unprecedented exposure in the US media. There's little doubt that football in America could do with such an injection. Major League Soccer, the sport's premier league, is estimated to have lost 350 million dollars in the ten years of its existence, according to Business Week. The league has 12 professional teams, many of which do not even play in soccer-specific stadiums. Even before the Beckham signing, there were signs that the tide was turning. The Los Angeles Galaxy last year became the first ever team to turn a profit, while the MLS says that by 2010 all its teams will play in stadiums purpose-built for football. By that year the league plans to add three more teams. In addition, last year the league signed a breakthrough deal with the sports network ESPN which will bring its broadcast fees to 20 million dollars per year. ESPN will also now promote the sport across all its programming. Beckham's deal thus looks perfectly timed to give the sport the boost it needs. There are already an estimated 18 million players in the country - the vast majority of them kids who play in tightly coached teams rather than enjoying kick-arounds in the school playground. The Association of US Sports Equipment Manufacturers estimates soccer to be the most popular school participation sport. But participation falls off dramatically in the late teens. "Traditionally there have been no role models for kids to look up to and to keep their passion going for the sport," says amateur kids soccer coach Sam Clarkson in California. "That has been slowly changing - with stars like Landon Donovan and Freddy Adu. But Beckham coming over here is huge. He will take the sport into orbit." MLS Commissioner Don Garber agreed. "David Beckham is a global sports icon who will transcend the sport of soccer in America," he said in a statement. "His decision to continue his storied career in the MLS is testament to the fact that America is rapidly becoming a true 'Soccer Nation'." By Andy Goldberg © 2007 DPA --------------------------------- for 63 million USD, you can sign up all the top 5 MS players, top 4 of WS, top 2 pairs MD, top 2 pairs of XD, and top 2 pairs WS for a 3 years contract. (63/21/3 = 1 million USD/yr each to play for 3 years. The remaining 187 millions can be use to build badminton courts across the country and buy future rising star players. US is guarantee win all the titles for the next century. We can dream can't we?