Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Earn it like Beckham

So Beckham got a deal with LA Galaxy worth, potentially, US $ 250 million for five years. That's the total package if everything goes as planned -- $50 million in salary, $50 million in club profits, $50 million in shirt sale merchandising, and $100 million from sponsors. Or around that, lah.

Seems to be a lot of money. It is, actually, compared to other soccer players in the U.S. The $50 million salary for five years is approximately $200 thousand a week or about 102 thousand Pounds (shoot, I don't know how to type the Pound sign). The second-highest paid player in the MLS earned $1.3 million in 2006, while the average salary for a squad player is $32,000 per year, not week.

That's pretty much on par with other top soccer players in the European league. Roy Keane, for example, earned 90,000 Pounds per week while at Manchester United, while Shevchenko receives around 130,000 sitting on Chelsea's bench. In Spain, Ronaldinho's annual salary is US $11.4 million.

So, apparently the salary itself is not that eye-popping. It's the remaining of the package. It's Beckham's brand equity.

But how about the rest of the industry?

I did a quick google on CEO's salary. Well, they probably are laughing now as people are making a fuss over Beckham's package. A typical total CEO take-home compensation comprises of salary, bonuses, stocks and incentives, and stock options. Most of the pays were in stock options gain. The typical CEO salary itself was ranging from zero to about $2 million.

Here are some examples how much companies paid their CEOs in 2005 (total compensation -- excluding "other compensation" such as personal use of company aircraft). Disney - $10 million. GE - $18 million. American Express - $28 million. Goldman Sachs - $45 million.

Still below Beckham's annual $50 million total package. Try this: Dell - $67 million. Oracle - $92 million.

Capital One Financial even paid its CEO to the extreme: $280 million of total compensation with $0 salary and $0 bonus.

So, wanna earn it like Beckham, or stay in the corporate way?