SBD/May 9, 2014/Franchises

Beckham Plans To Be Involved Owner In MLS, Pushes Back Against Site Near Marlins Park

David Beckham vows to be an “involved team owner whenever and wherever” his MLS team kicks off in Miami, according to Michelle Kaufman of the MIAMI HERALD. Beckham on Thursday said, “This is very personal to me. In business, I don’t just give my name to something and say, ‘Do whatever you want.’ I am always 100 percent committed.” He added, “I will be the face of this club for many, many years. I will be at almost every home game, maybe every game, and some away games as well. ... I’m here, personally, to give something back to a game I’ve loved for 22 years” (MIAMI HERALD, 5/9). In Miami, Patricia Mazzei notes Beckham and his investors “expect to make money for a mostly privately financed” $250M stadium even though it would “only be filled maybe 25 days a year.” Beckam and his partner, XIX Entertainment Founder Simon Fuller, are “betting on the strength of the Beckham brand to draw television revenues and big-name sponsorships, as teams in far more established and more popular European soccer leagues do.” Fuller said, “We will generate more money than any other MLS team can dream of. The marketing power of a sports franchise is immense -- that’s how we are approaching it.” Fuller, Beckham and two of their reps spoke to the Herald's editorial board and “portrayed the soccer venture as a way to market Beckham -- and Miami -- internationally.” Fuller and Beckham “pushed back against their detractors, mainly Royal Caribbean Cruises, and stressed their dislike" of the possibility that the MLS team's stadium could go up next to Marlins Park. He called the Marlins ballpark site “a horrendous disservice to a massive ambitious, exciting prospect” (MIAMI HERALD, 5/9).
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