Thursday September 28, 2023

Messi’s MLS Arrival Validates ‘Beckham Strategy’ 16 Years Later

  • MLS took risks pulling out all the stops to bring David Beckham to the LA Galaxy.
  • The English superstar was consequential in securing Messi's move to the U.S.
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Front Office Sports Today

Bucks Go All-In on Giannis Era

The Milwaukee Bucks altered the NBA by swinging a deal for Damian Lillard.
Listen Now
September 28, 2023 | Podcast
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

Lionel Messi’s MLS debut comes 16 years to the day that David Beckham played his first game for the LA Galaxy on July 21, 2007. 

The English superstar’s move to the U.S. — via a uniquely structured, precedent-setting deal — marked the league’s first true blockbuster signing, one that paved the way for others. Now, Beckham has brought arguably the greatest player of all time to American soccer.

While playing for Real Madrid, Beckham played against Messi’s Barcelona squad just twice before leaving for MLS. Now, the two soccer icons are set to be long-term business partners in South Florida, as Messi’s contract reportedly has an option for equity in Inter Miami.

Part of MLS’ push to lure Beckham was allowing him to purchase an expansion franchise at any point for $25 million. When Inter Miami was officially granted a place in MLS in 2018, the most recent expansion fee was $150 million for Nashville, while Charlotte was awarded a team for $325 million the very next year.

As Beckham struggled to get local support for a new stadium, many looked down upon the cost-friendly deal, which appeared to be costing MLS money. Now, any trepidation is certainly gone. 

The fact remains that there’s no guarantee that Messi would have been drawn to MLS without the option of playing in Miami or playing for Beckham.

It’s now clear that what started as a wild fever dream to have a European star in America began a decade-and-a-half-long process to secure MLS’ future. Whether by design or luck, MLS bringing Beckham to L.A. also brought Messi to Miami.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read


BioSteel Bankruptcy Shows Perils of Costly Sports Partnerships

BioSteel spent heavily on partnerships deals before bankruptcy.
Taylor Swift at Chiefs vs. Bears game.

Taylor Swift NFL Hype Likely To Continue Another Week

Swift could drive blockbuster TV ratings for NBC's "Sunday Night Football."

Lillard And Giannis Pairing Could Be Big For The NBA, Too

Bucks to be featured on national TV 19 times this season

NHL Backs Unified Women’s League, Though Without Money

Leagues working together on numerous operational components
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Bucks Go All-In on Giannis Era


Featured Today

Magic Johnson Open To Knicks Minority Ownership Stake

Basketball Hall of Famer only interested in specific NBA franchise
Golden State Warriors majority owner Joe Lacob walks alone the baseline during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at Chase Center.
September 27, 2023

Warriors Owner Reportedly Adding A Bay Area WNBA Franchise

An official announcement could come as soon as early October.
NFL concussions
September 27, 2023

The NFL’s $1B Battle Over Concussion Settlement Heats Up

The NFL is seeking at least $1.2 billion from its risk carriers.
September 26, 2023

NFL's Swift Mania Starting To Show Impact Through Merch Sales, Viewership

Taylor Swift stole the NFL's spotlight by attending Sunday's Chiefs game.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Chicago Cubs
New York
Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, Inc.
USA - Multiple Locations

PGA Tour Receiving New Investor Interest Amid Saudi Deal

U.S. investors are reportedly wanting to get involved with the Tour.
September 27, 2023

Bay Area WNBA Expansion Latest Step In League Growth

A new team is reportedly coming to the Bay Area.
September 26, 2023

Miami Is A New Soccer Hub With FIFA, Argentina Moves

FIFA is moving 100+ employees to a new South Florida office.
September 25, 2023

NFL Owners' Debt Limit Could Increase To $1.6B

Currently, new NFL owners can use $1 billion of debt.
September 25, 2023

NFL's Next International Goal: Games in Spain, Brazil

A league executive says the games could take place in 2024.
September 25, 2023

LIV, PGA Tour Schedules Likely Clashing Despite PIF Deal

In 2024, LIV is reported to go head-to-head with the PGA Tour.
Chatri Sityodtong
September 25, 2023

ONE Championship's Quest To Challenge Rival UFC Through U.S. Expansion

Leveraging its Amazon deal, ONE Championship seeks to expand in U.S.

NHL’s Chris Foster on Amplifying Content Distribution With Automation

Learn how the NHL is using WSC Sports to increase fan engagement.