Thursday, August 16, 2007

Day to Day duties

I was just interviewed by Madeleine Brand for Day to Day, an NPR show, on the topic of David Beckham. It was a recorded segment that they'll edit for a short feature. Here's the direct link.

I'm afraid that I got off on the wrong foot with poor Madeleine, who opened the interview by mentioning David's 250 million dollar contract. I told her that was a marketing number, and that his actual salary is closer to 35 million for five years. The 250 million figure is a concocted estimate that includes sponsorship dollars and partnership agreements that could potentially total somewhere around that, but it's not coming out of the pocket of MLS or the team's owners, AEG.

Basically, it was far too complicated and lengthy of a response for a three minute interview. I should have skipped it, but it irks me that this misleading figure gets tossed around so often. I blame the publicity push of MLS for that, because it's hard for people to differentiate between earnings and salary.

Think of it this way. Tiger Woods wins a certain amount in prize money every year. He earns far more via his sponsorships, performance bonuses and partnerships.

Course, Beckham's salary of around 5 million yearly is still far more than any other MLS player. He definitely is well-paid.

Anyway, catch what might be my only public radio appearance if you get a chance. I'll work on being more tactful in the future.


Nathan said...

You should make this distinction whenever possible.

Just work on your brevity. (Which, in my experience is hard when you have all the info. I find I want to tell people all the minutia so they understand it, but I get a lot of blank stares after the first 10 seconds of these types of conversations. Don't ever ask me about voter registration and voter participation and the arcana of voter registration and voter ID laws, for example.)

I've been telling people, "He gets $6.5 million a year to play. Everything else is sponsorships, image rights, and the like. That might add up to $250 mil or it might not, depending."

A.C. said...

Your line is a good one, concise yet informative. I'm so stealing it.

Almost everybody tells me I need to work on more brevity in general.

Anonymous said...

You know what, if the only thing that comes across in the interview is that the $250m amount is overstated, you'll have done all of us a world of good.

I'm so sick of explaining that fact to others.

Keep up all your good work.

diane said...

Please don't be more brief here though! I just discovered your site and like the fact that you and Luis are both informative as well as descriptive.

My own problem is that I go on to say what Beckham's base salary would have been at Madrid, what his peers, and then mid-level payers, are making in the Premiership (more than 6.5 million :-) ), and the fact that most of his sponsorship money will be coming from sponsors that he brought with him -- yes, I'm embarrassed even now, so you could have done worse!!...

Josh said...

That wasn't a tactless answer at all. It was accurate, a characteristic those in the media purport to value.

Congrats on the interview.

Soledad said...

My low ethical standards (and general laziness) have led me to gleefuly perpetuate the lie.

It amuses me, and just because some reactionary non-fan thinks Beckham's contract will doom the league doesn't mean it will. But I see why you, as a journalist, might not want to follow my lead.

Public radio likes talkiness, no? Next time just get a longer segment--problem solved.