A couple weeks back, I posted this about David Beckham - a star of England's legendary Manchester United and Spain's Real Madrid, and a longtime mainstay of England's national team - who has now taken the field in America, as part of Major League Soccer's L.A. Galaxy, and about his impact on soccer in America.
At the time, I suggested one indicator of that impact could be found in ticket sales. One of the games we got as part of a mini-season-pack from FC Dallas was a 'Super Liga' match with the Galaxy ..... which was already going to be a good game, but would now have the added attraction of Beckham. Prior to the game, a member of FC Dallas' front office told me that only 2,000 (out of 20,000) tickets remained for that game at Pizza Hut Park, in Frisco, Texas, and they were planning on adding bleachers to the stage at one end of the complex, for added seating ..... a packed house is almost unheard-of for a regular season game.
Well, they sold out, including the bleachers. And even a severe thunderstorm late that afternoon didn't dampen every one's enthusiasm ....... nor did the non-appearance of David Beckham.
That's right ..... after weeks of promotional hype - billboards, on-air ads, newspaper ads, e-mails and phone calls - The Becks didn't even fly to Dallas, as he continues to nurse an injury that has plagued him for much of the year.
Some folks were very disappointed ..... "Bench It Like Beckham" said a home-made sign at Tuesday night's match.
But, this is interesting ..... everyone had known for a couple of days that he wasn't coming .... and still, the stadium was almost full, on a Tuesday night, in between thunderstorms. And those that did come, saw an awesome game ..... a 6-5, down-to-the-final-whistle thriller between two teams that are both contenders to make a serious run for the 2007 MLS Cup ..... like I said before, it was already going to be a good game ..... it turned out to be even better ..... though I wish FC Dallas could have won.
And I wish Beckham could have at least made the trip to Dallas. Even if he couldn't have taken the field (and considering how rough the play got - with 9 yellow cards handed out - that was probably a good thing), it would have meant a lot to some folks to just see him down there on the sidelines.
For it's part, FC Dallas' general manager announced, "fans that purchased tickets through the FC Dallas front office or through Ticketmaster to the July 31 game will receive a special ticket offer for the next game between FC Dallas and the Los Angeles Galaxy at Pizza Hut Park before tickets are on sale to the general public."
It will help ..... but it's a good example of the kind of things that drive people in the PR business right off the deep end.