Why LeBron James’ Interest In David Beckham’s Miami MLS Team is a Smart Move

Last week I stated for Beckham’s Miami MLS dream to work he must cater to a largely Hispanic audience. But the potential addition of LeBron James to the ownership group changes this equation substantially.

James has mainstream credibility among an American sporting audience, English language dominant sports journalists and mainstream media in the country. Last week I articulated that it would be more important for the new Miami team to get Spanish language dominant journalists and fans on the teams’ side. Part of this thought was due to the hostility towards Miami, demonstrated time and again by mainstream sporting press.

The addition of James to an ownership group can help attract interest throughout the country to the new Miami MLS team and solidify its staying power locally. It would force local sports personalities, driven by interest in the NFL and NBA, to pay attention to the team. It would also create a positive environment to elevate the community relations and outreach aspects of what the club can do locally, which ultimately leads to an increase in ticket sales.

The celebrity factor of LeBron James is one thing, but the mainstream acceptance factor is even more important. Not only would his inclusion in an ownership group ensure all of what we have discussed above for the new Miami team, but it would also elevate Major League Soccer as an entity among mainstream American sporting fans.

Beckham’s team should continue down the path of becoming a hyper-local Hispanic team if the James investment does not work out. But if he does invest, it is a game changer, allowing the team to potentially become a South Florida institution that appeals to fans throughout the region and works to build bridges between different segments of the community. LeBron James profile is that large in the area and his involvement would be that critical.

5 thoughts on “Why LeBron James’ Interest In David Beckham’s Miami MLS Team is a Smart Move”

  1. Nobody buys tickets to go see the owner. Nobody supports a team because of the owner. Will media cover the team more because LeBron has a small stake in it? Maybe. The media covers the Marlins and nobody cares. The media overwhelmingly covers the Dolphins and they’ve been in the bottom 7 in NFL attendance 3 years in a row. The team has to be good. It doesn’t matter who the owners are or who the coach is. It’s who is on the field and how they perform.

    By this logic, the Merseyside derby should be front page news in the local Miami sports pages and you should see Gerrard and Suarez shirts on every corner on South Beach. King James is in with Liverpool, they must be the number 1 EPL team in Miami!

    Saying this as a huge Heat fan since day one: LeBron getting involved with Beckham isn’t going to make me interested in his team at all.

    Beckham’s involvement, despite being an international celebrity and the face of the operation, is also largely irrelevant. If the people he partners with, the REAL money(the guys that write paychecks to pro athletes, not the guys that received those checks), do not put a winning team on the field with all 3 DP slots filled with Henry or better type talent, nobody will care and it won’t matter one bit that Posh & Becks are sitting in the owner’s box.

    1. You completely missed what Kartik was saying. He wasn’t saying that Lebron and Becks will sell out the building. He was talking about the ridiculous star power both bring. He was talking about how mainstream media might look at MLS and MLS Miami differently if such a massive sports star like Lebron is involved. Fans and kids listen to Lebron. Look at all the articles the have already been written. They are already the most talked about North American soccer team, and they haven’t even been formed.

  2. Maybe it won’t sell tickets, but if Lebron wears a Miami MLS hat during a press conference, it will surely help drive merchandise sales.

  3. Yeah cuz celebrity ownership worked for arena football.

    Til people realized what a pathetic product was on the field.

    Same situation here.

  4. Lebron’s involvement COULD be huge. I agree that the team must be good to get the right kind of attention. But if Lebron is an active member of the ownership group people will certainly care and be interested. Think about Jay-Z’s involvement with the Nets… A team that used to be the lame cousin of the Knicks is all of a sudden very cool. The brand is cool, albeit the nets are playing well. And Jay-Z is only a minority owner (but you wouldn’t know it)… And don’t forget it wouldn’t be just Lebron… It’s Lebron and Becks… So much star power, people will come.

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