Lionel Messi, in the soccer Olympus for 20 years and the last world champion with the Argentine National Team, shocked the soccer world by announcing his landing at Inter Miami, the team of the Mas brothers and David Beckham, and has already generated income financial that far exceed what the North American club paid to hire him.
In addition, it allowed the team to obtain its first title, qualified it for a key tournament and made it win the local championship for the first time in more than a dozen games.
The data that is beginning to emerge about the profound economic impact of the landing reveals that Messi “pays for himself.”
A report published by Fortune magazine highlights that the “Messi effect” manifested itself in the first instance with the growth of followers that Inter Miami had on its Instagram account, where it now accumulates more than 14 million followers, more than any NFL, NHL or the Major Leagues (MLB), which are sports much more massive than soccer on American soil.
“It is difficult to pin down the exact numbers because much of the data is not publicly available or not yet available. But it appears that Messi’s new deal with MLS side Inter Miami, worth between $50 million and $60 million, includes revenue-sharing deals with league sponsors Apple and Adidas, and is just the tip of the iceberg. , explains the business magazine.
Major League Soccer (MLS) matches are broadcast on Apple TV, a platform that added 300,000 new subscribers in July (now around 1.4 million subscribers in total), the month in which Messi announced his decision to play in the Florida team, according to Sports Business Journal. The bonus to watch the entire season costs $99, so that increase in subscribers would have generated almost $30 million.
However, some passes are obtained through promotions with other companies such as T-Mobile and LG.
Beyond the fact that a specific streaming service is needed to see Messi in action, MLS exploits the dissemination of images on social networks to the full. There are leagues that choose to geolocate their videos, but in the United States they chose to expand the highlights without restrictions.
For example, La Pulga’s first goal got more than 214 million views on social media and around 14 million impressions, according to analytics company Zoomph. These are more than attractive numbers for advertisers.
As for live viewers, no one wants to miss out on seeing the Argentine star play in person, which has skyrocketed Inter Miami game ticket prices by 1,700% on the resale market, according to CNBC. .
In the presentation against New York Red Bulls, tickets were available starting at US$425, but there were also VIP access for four people that cost just over US$50,000.
According to Fortune’s calculations, in just two months since Lionel Messi arrived in MLS he has generated at least $265 million in ticket sales.
The complete picture of La Pulga’s financial impact is much greater if you add the shirts sold, as well as everything that spectators consume during the games (parking, food, drinks, merchandising).
Both Inter Miami and Adidas, sponsor of all MLS teams, reported in July that orders for Messi’s number 10 jerseys are backlogged until October.
On the United States website, the shirt costs US$180, twice as much as the Argentina shirt with which they became world champions in Qatar. According to ESPN, it was the fastest-selling jersey in the first 24 hours of its release.
It is speculated that Leo Messi’s contract is similar to the one David Beckham signed at the time, that is, it includes a shareholding in Inter Miami.
His portion of the shares could already be worth more than it was before the transfer was made.
Jorge Mas, one of Beckham’s owners and partner, said he believes the club’s revenue will double in the first year. Initially, just a couple of weeks ago, investment firm Ares Management injected another $75 million into Inter Miami.
Unprecedented numbers for the sport that open an extraordinary expectation towards the Copa América (2024) and the Soccer World Cup (2026). Both tournaments will be organized by the United States.
I am Pierce Boyd, a driven and ambitious professional working in the news industry. I have been writing for 24 Hours Worlds for over five years, specializing in sports section coverage. During my tenure at the publication, I have built an impressive portfolio of articles that has earned me a reputation as an experienced journalist and content creator.