The 275 million dollar man



David Beckham's move from Real Madrid to LA Galaxy has been called the biggest sports deal in history. The deal is worth $250 million over five years.

Lots of sports stars endorse sports products for money, but few have become brands that appeal way beyond the stadium. The two best examples come from half a century ago: Fred Perry and Rene Lacoste were tennis champions who created fashion clothes companies. If David Beckham did the same, moving to the US would help enormously because it's the one big market where his name's not yet mega.

His appeal is obvious with his blond hair, perfect body and winning smile, what some people call "metrosexual". Marketing people say his "key brand values" are "physicality, sexuality, sensitivity and success" He has a smooth image that already has huge female appeal in Japan, for example, and which led Gillette to use him as its clean-shaven face.

According to the business magazine, Forbes, the top earning sports star last year was Tiger Woods on ninety million dollars. But Beckham's closing fast by turning himself into what seems like a Hollywood image, aided by his wife, Victoria, who's famous as a pop star.

There's some life in Beckham, the sportsman, yet but much more in Beckham, the image. As they say in the business: "When the legs have gone, the brand plays on"


Part A. Reading Comprehension.

I. Answer the following questions using your own words but taking into account the information in the text. (2 points: 1 point each)

a. Why would moving to the US help David Beckham?

b. What do lots of sports stars do?


II. Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Identify the part of the text that supports your answer. (1.5 point: 0.5 each)

a. According to Forbes, Beckham has now become the top earning sports star.

b. Beckham will make 250 million dollars a year for the next five years.

c. Beckham is very successful with Japanese women.


III. Find a synonym for each of the four words below from these six options: (1 point: 0.25 each)

mega            appeal        endorse       metrosexual          brand         values

a. has qualities women like

b. say in public you support something

c. very, very, very good

d. non-gay who looks after himself


IV. Choose a, b, or c, in each question below. Only one choice is correct. (1.5 points: 0.5 each)

1. Victoria, Beckham’s wife, …

a) has a lot of secrets.

b) has aids.

c) is a pop music celebrity.

2. Fred Perry and René Lacoste …

a) used to play tennis very well.

b) still play tennis.

c) know Victoria’s secrets.

3. In the US Beckham …

a) hasn´t yet succeeded in becoming a big name.

b) is already a big name.

c) has huge female appeal.


Part B. Composition (130-150 words approximately). Choose one of the following topics. (4 points)

1. Do you think a football player should earn so much money?

2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a famous football player?