America might find it amusing when Victoria Beckham shows up at an L.A. Dodgers game to throw the first pitch, but the arrival of her husband in Major League Soccer, to the potential tune of $250 million over five years, is something a great deal more serious. The American media likes big money and a big gamble, which is probably why it took notice in the first place-that, and Becks' celebrity appeal.
As the Guardian Jeremy Campbell points out, British and American sports have mingled on several occasions throughout the years, and not always happily. Soccer, Campbell says, is still very much a British sport, and Becks, very much a British (or at least a non-U.S.) celebrity. But how does this British invasion compare to the American one happening in the Premiership? Malcolm Glazer and family caused an uproar when they took over Manchester United two years ago, later calmed by the return of the Premiership trophy to Old Trafford. Since then, the EPL has seen happier American takeovers at Aston Villa and Liverpool.
Of course, uproar is far better than apathy -- if the U.S. was apathetic about the arrival of Posh and Becks, that would be bad indeed, but signs indicate this isn't the case. The media have certainly done their job -- there's a story about Becks just about every day somewhere -- but will his arrival be the panacea MLS executives have hoped for? It could be construed as an unwanted foreign invasion of a foreign sport, or maybe it will turn into the sport of choice for the rich and fabulous. You'll surely stay turned.