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.

...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!