Los Angeles Soccer: Herbalife

On-field benefits in Herbalife deal?

March, 16, 2012

GalaxyRobert Mora/L.A. GalaxyA check is presented to Children's Institute, Inc., as part of the Galaxy's sponsorship agreement with Herbalife.

TORRANCE -- The Galaxy announced a 10-year extension to its sponsorship agreement with Herbalife, a $44 million investment from the nutritional supplements company that AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke promises will be seen on the field.

Add that cash to the 10-year, $55 million broadcast deal signed last fall with Time Warner Cable, and L.A. has plenty of money to acquire -- and develop -- talent.

“What it allows us to do, it gives us resources that other teams don't have,” Leiweke said following Friday morning's news conference at Children's Institute, Inc.'s South Bay facility. “As much as people question our commitment and our expenditure of money on Designated Players, the reality is we have the economic wherewithal to do it. ...

“For us to have local revenue like this [as opposed to revenue shared within the league, under its single-entity business structure] gives us the ability to make sure that for the next 10 years that this brand and this team is going to be on top of its game. We're going to put every penny back into the team: Some of that will be on DPs, some of that will be on our development system, some of that will be on our training facilities. But now this empowers us and encourages us to make sure that the brand and the team are doing it better than anyone, so when a player wants to come [to Major League Soccer], he wants to come here.”

The Galaxy have hardly been spendthrifts -- they've got three DPs (David Beckham, Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan) and a payroll around $15 million, more than three times the league average. They've poured resources into their Academy, which is starting to churn out top talent, and are aiming to dominate within MLS, claiming every trophy available to them.

That kind of commitment, Leiweke notes, requires appropriate funding. The deals with Herbalife and Time Warner provide much of the fuel.

“It certainly gives us the wherewithal to continue to spend what we're spending now …,” Leiweke said. “What all this does, it allows us to continue that spending spree that we've been on here.”

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