Brand It like Beckham

The world's best-known sports star follows the money

Here's a tale for our times. Last week Ali Abbas, the 13-year-old Iraqi boy who lost his arms during an air raid on Baghdad, continued his recuperation in a hospital in Kuwait, wearing a T shirt emblazoned with a picture of his hero, an English soccer star who was about to start a promotional tour of Japan after having just been traded to a Spanish club in a deal--vital to the fortunes of a German shoe company--that merited an editorial in the New York Times and that was brokered by a sports agency owned by a company from San Antonio, Texas.


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