Winning combination of Becks and dosh that dazzled the Galaxy

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The Independent Football

David Beckham's move to LA Galaxy, and the sums involved, are evidence of his continuing global allure - and why he can attract a wage packet of a projected £25.6m a year. Where there's Becks, there's dosh.

And it is that bedrock - Beckham's ability to draw attention and headlines but more importantly the sponsors and massive endorsements that follow - that will allow Galaxy, or rather their owners, the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) to pay him so much.

He is being hired not so much for kicking a ball, but his power to sell stuff: seats at games, shirts and other merchandise, TV rights, razor blades (and aftershave, cars and many other things), places at his academy (based at the Galaxy's stadium and part-owned by AEG), you name it. In short, anything and everything AEG - as a global player with fingers in all kinds of pies - want to use him to flog.

His deal also includes endorsement work for the MLS as a whole, as an icon to try to convince the world that American soccer wants to be a serious player.

We already know Beckham, personally, is worth £47,000 a day, because that is what figures show he coined last year from sponsorship deals. And we know what experts such as Real Madrid's marketing director, Jose Angel Sanchez, think he is, or was, worth. Sanchez told Florentino Perez, the president who signed Beckham, that the player could be worth £340m in deals over his contract when he signed him. That has been borne out to a large extent by Real's massive hike in earnings (especially in commercial income) since Beckham arrived, even though results have been patchy.

AEG owns or operates major entertainment venues and franchises around the world, from the Galaxy and their Home Depot Centre base, including the MEN Arena in Manchester and the Millennium Dome. And the group will soon own David Beckham, the world's most famous footballer, as part of its roster, in more senses than one.

Gee, what a swell game soccer is.

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