When David Beckham’s name became linked with the push for a professional soccer team in Miami, he seemed like the perfect type of star who could provide a necessary push to help a club succeed in a city where pro sports haven’t always done so well.
Now that LeBron James has been linked to Beckham and the drive for MLS expansion in Miami, the star power has reached epic proportions, and it makes you wonder just what two of the world’s biggest sports figures could do together.
Celebrities can make things happen and stir up buzz, but having James’ name added to Beckham’s MLS push isn’t about helping Beckham land a team. The English icon isn’t likely to need much assistance in gaining the approval of a league for which he helped gain international attention. No, what James can help bring to Beckham’s expansion push is the type of cache that only a locally based megastar can bring.
Whether it would be helping the team’s marketing appeal or giving an MLS Miami squad the momentum to secure a sorely needed stadium, James would very likely bring more to the table than some photo ops and potentially a few kicks of the soccer ball.
James isn’t just a basketball player, just as Beckham wasn’t just a soccer player. James is a global icon. He essentially is the king of Miami now after winning two NBA titles, and if he puts his name and interest behind a pro soccer team, that many more casual sports fans will pay attention, and that many more doors will open for a new team trying to gain a foothold in a traditionally tough market.
This isn’t likely to be about adding James’ financial clout, either. After all, Beckham already has billionaire Marcelo Claure identified as a likely partner, with Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross also looking to get involved. It is more about what a beloved figure in Miami can bring to the table that Beckham can’t.