Related: Famous face to help regain CSL face
As Chinese professional soccer enters its 20th year, the Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL) has invited David Beckham to be its international ambassador. How will Beckham do the job? Does the CSL really need such an international ambassador?
CCTV-IMG, which has been commissioned by the CSL to hire Beckham as its international ambassador, said the CSL hopes that Beckham can help improve Chinese soccer's damaged image and promote Chinese soccer to global markets. However, it is uncertain whether this commercial behavior is conducive to increase the international influence of Chinese soccer.
The arrival of Beckham, a world-class soccer player, will definitely draw greater international attention to the CSL, but the effects of promotion ultimately depend on the quality of the product. While spending loads of money hiring international stars like Beckham, the CSL should make efforts to improve the quality of its "products."
China national football team's consistent poor performance in the world and the country's lack of young soccer talents have formed a sharp contrast to the CSL's lavish spending, which has contributed to its international image as an "upstart" and "nursing home for international soccer stars."
The arrival of Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka last year indeed brought extensive international attention to the CSL, but the two big soccer stars "fled" from the league only after a short time, which caused severe damage to the CSL's international image. Even Beckham would not heal the damage.
Star players and coaches can indeed help promote the development of China's professional soccer, but without a truly favorable environment and high-caliber professional clubs, more foreign stars are likely to leave like Drogba and Anelka did.
The new CSL season will start in early March, and its opening ceremony should have been a sought-after business opportunity. However, no domestic club has agreed to hold the ceremony despite the Chinese Football Association's repeated requests. This has indirectly reflected the low commercial value of the CSL.
The CSL should pay more attention to improving the quality of its "products' rather than marketing hype in the upcoming new season.
Read the Chinese version: 中超真需要贝克汉姆？
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