Beckham franchise offers opportunity to Spurs

For Tottenham fans watching the US & Canada pre-season tour there were few downsides, young players emerged, players grew confidence, they got fitter, used a new system in a meaningful environment and no suffered no fresh injuries.

Beckham franchise offers opportunity to Spurs


North America is becoming an important market, the 19 MLS teams are averaging 18,716 fans per game this year, which is over 1,000 higher than the average attendance at NHL and NBA games last season.

MLS has an eight-year broadcast deal with ESPN, Fox and Univision reportedly worth £423.69 million ($720m). The TV deal with Fox Sports was £13.53 million ($23m) per year, the current deal with NBC is worth £147.11 million ($250m) over three years, that's £49.04 million ($83.33m) a year.

For the World Cup 18.22 million viewers tuned in for the USA vs Portugal match in Brazil. Everything points to massive growth and a company should ride the crest of a wave, Tottenham should ride the crest of a wave. They should take the bull by the horns and promote like mad.

Club captain Michael Dawson unwittingly reminded the club what a marketing opportunity there is just around the corner.

"I think the MLS was put on the worldwide map, certainly for myself, when David Beckham came here. And you look how many English-based players have played there and have come over to the MLS. Everyone you speak to is loving it, and the league's just growing."

David Beckham is big business, big exposure, he trained at Tottenham, his grandfather Joseph's ashes he spread on the White Hart Lane pitch after the family held a private service away from the glare of the media at the ground, he attended our school of excellence as a youth. The club have links with him and he is about to start his own MLS football team in Miami.

Tottenham should be in discussions with him now about matches between the two sides, even though their is no start date yet, and tie up deals for young loan players. If their is any club in America to partner with then it's a David Beckham franchise one. The media circus and commercial opportunities simply dictate it.

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Andros Townsend gave his verdict on football in North America after the second leg of the tour against Toronto FC in Canada.

"I think we saw at the World Cup, the U.S. is kind of getting behind soccer now and they're getting into it more. The two (MLS) games we've played so far, both teams had a good following, good crowds, and most importantly they've both given us good matches. 
"It's important for the country that more players come over to this league -- we've just seen Frank Lampard and David Villa come over, so I think the league is just going to grow year by year."

It has been a bonus, an important bonus to have an American laying for us that the US media has hone in on to promote not just the sport or MLS but Tottenham Hotspur as well. He understands the sport out there better than we do and his Ambassadorial role will become increasingly important.

"It's one of those unique countries where the U.S. National Team and the U.S. Soccer Federation and the MLS go hand-in-hand, so the success of one will help the success of the other, especially when it comes to the notoriety and the fan base and the fan participation. The sport just keeps growing and growing.
"We have so many people in this country and so many participants of soccer, I think we need to do a little bit better job getting the athletes in this country to play soccer and get them developed. How you get them developed is by better coaching at the youth levels. We should be developing more game-changing players. 
"We've got the players that will run through brick walls for you in abundance, we've got team spirit -- we always have going back to the 1990s -- in abundance, usually have a very good team camaraderie. That's just the American psyche. We have all of that. 
"I'd like to see us now start developing those No. 10s, the No. 7s, the No. 11s, the guys that are really going to add some flair to the team. And if we start doing that then we'll make a mark on the world stage."

Sounds very much what Spurs need to do themselves, develop game changing players, since bale departed we have been found wanting creatively and it's fingers crossed that new head coach Mauricio Pochettino can solve that.

We hear of our youngster going to youth tournaments across Europe, the Development Squad have just been to France but do they ever go to America? Is there not the opportunity for a Development Squad tour, play a couple of games and then a game against an MLS U21 side, perhaps in years when the senior squad tours Asia pre-season and there isn't a World Cup or European Championships.

Keeping the name in the frame is one thing but making it stand out is another and brand familiarity can only help raise our profile. I wonder how far in advance our marketing department are thinking but aligning ourselves with the David Beckham brand is an opportunity not to be missed.



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