Thursday, June 24, 2010

'It Only Took a Couple of Seconds, But it Changed Donovan’s Life Forever'

Talk about a golden goal. While that dramatic goal of his Wednesday lifted the United States to the knockout round of the World Cup, it's also elevated Landon Donovan into an economic stratosphere normally reserved for international superstars of the game.

Cards played right, Donovan could be looking at a payday of at least $10 million.
Landon Donovan’s career will never be same after his dream World Cup goal – and neither will his bank balance.

Donovan’s memories of his injury-time goal against Algeria that kept the United States in the tournament are priceless. But there is also a very tangible side effect to that unforgettable moment, both to the midfielder’s wealth and his future prospects.

“It only took a couple of seconds, but it changed Donovan’s life forever,” said sports economics and advertising expert Paul Ridley, owner of leading London sports business firm Paul Ridley Limited. “Donovan is going to be a hot commodity after this and as long as he is managed correctly, $10 million is very attainable.”

The blueprint is there.

“Donovan can copy a little bit from David Beckham,” said Ridley, who launched Manchester United’s in-house television channel and has clients in Britain and the U.S. “He needs to carefully select the brands he wants to be associated with and make sure they fit his image – Brand Landon if you like.”

So, get used to seeing Donovan on your television screens for quite some time. The soccer buzz that accompanies a World Cup will obviously dissipate after the tournament ends and the American sports scene returns to its typical state.

Yet Donovan’s dramatic strike with just seconds remaining at Loftus Versfeld Stadium sent his star soaring and will greatly increase his marketability. He has gone from being just a soccer player, albeit America’s most famous one, to a clutch performer on the biggest stage of all.

And $10 million could be just the tip of the iceberg, compared to the money Donovan could earn playing club soccer in Europe.

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