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SBD Global/November 28, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies
MLS Commissioner Credits Beckham For Impact On League, Says He Helped Grow Game In U.S.
Published November 28, 2012
MARKETING MACHINE: Garber said that Beckham "did everything" MLS asked of him to "grow football" in the U.S. The AP's Ronald Blum noted Beckham "left Real Madrid in '07 to sign a $32.5M, five-year deal with the Galaxy," he said then that he "wanted to win and increase the league’s popularity both domestically and abroad." Garber said, "I don’t think anybody would doubt that he has overdelivered on every one of those measures. There’s arguably not a soccer fan on this planet that doesn’t know the LA Galaxy and Major League Soccer, and David played a significant role in helping us make that happen" (AP, 11/27). In L.A., Phil Collin wrote of Beckham, "As polarizing as a world icon can sometimes be, even critics won't be able to deny that soccer in America has been boosted beyond what many thought was attainable." But the "most interesting aspect of Beckham's overall legacy ... won't be able to be measured for years." Galaxy VP Chris Klein said, "If you look at David and his time here, his influence has spanned everything that our league touches, from commercially what our league looks like, to ticket sales, to soccer-specific stadiums, to designated players being more interested in our league" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 11/27). In Miami, Michelle Kaufman wrote Beckham "leaves the league stronger than he found it, and he no doubt made a significant contribution to that growth." His "int'l name recognition and sex appeal, and his genuine commitment to raise the profile of American soccer, left an indelible mark." He did "make a difference. A big difference. A difference that surely was worth the $32.5M investment." Kaufman: "Yes, Becks was worth every penny" (MIAMI HERALD, 11/25).