The Summer of Messi: How the GOAT Shifted Business in MLS

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Winter 2023 Major League Soccer It will be remembered as Messi’s season.

It’s been 18 weeks since Lionel MessiArguably the best soccer player in the world made his MLS debut Inter Miami CFEffectively turning a League Cup match with Liga MX Cruz Azul into a sold-out football extravaganza.

Of course, in the 94th minute, Messi scored a memorable free kick.Th The minute the new team won 2-1. Owners of Inter Miami, David Beckham And the Mas Brothers and MLS Commissioner Don Garber couldn’t have asked for a better debut for Argentina in America.

Messi’s arrival in America not only brought excitement and unparalleled talent to MLS, but also changed the league’s business landscape.

Inter ethnic boom

From the age of 36 Signed Against Inter Miami on July 15, the team experienced a seismic shift on both the sporting and business sides.

Social media followers for the first time: The South Florida franchise has 15.4 million Instagram followers as of June and is now the fourth-most followed American sports franchise on that platform, surpassing all NFL, MLB and NHL teams.

Even before he arrived, he had made an inter plan. The team has retained clauses in existing sponsorship deals (including the front shirt’s XBTO contract) and deliberately put two full years of Messi on the market on the horizon as several deals expire later this year. Inter’s Chief Business Officer Xavier Asensi said. Sports In September.

Also, after Messi’s arrival, Inter Miami’s ticket sales increased. Since its debut in July, Inter fans have packed the 21,000-seat DRV PNK stadium whether or not Messi played.

After Messi entered the field, the focus on the team brought more sponsors and more income. Two weeks after Messi started for Inter, Ares Management Corporation (NYSE: ARES ) closed for $75 million in preferred stock. Investment In the franchise.

Weeks after Messi’s arrival, Asensi said, it is targeting $200 million in revenue by 2024, triple what was projected before Messi’s arrival. last year, Sports Worth it Inter Miami FC is expected to earn $54 million, 10th highest in the league at $585 million.

The team did not reach the post-season, but thanks to Messi, they won the league title, the club’s first title.

Eastern Conference Money at Massey (Ticket Sales)

Inter Miami’s opponents reported a significant improvement in their matchday earnings in the second half of the season.

It was one of those groups. New York Red Bulls. The team, who was scheduled to play Inter Miami on August 26, began preparations for Messi’s arrival before signing with the MLS club. According to team president/GM Marc de Grandpre, who spoke to him. Sports In late August, the team lobbied the league to schedule an away game against Inter Miami in the second half of the MLS season, knowing at the time that Messi could be a part of that squad. After the game reached its scheduled time, the club decided not to sell single-game tickets, knowing that they could sell the goods at a higher price if Messi came. Grand Prix plans planted: Inter Miami’s game against Red Bull became the highest-grossing game in the club’s 13-year history.

A few weeks later Chicago fire Abi on Messi. The team had sold around 10,000 tickets to the Miami game in the season prior to Messi’s arrival. Following the announcement, the Flames implemented a number of strategies to increase ticket sales for the 2024 season and devised a complex strategy to offer their most loyal fans affordable tickets to see the Goat.

The team sold out all 130 suites in the 62,000-seat stadium, accounting for 55% of the team’s ticket revenue for the entire season, a person familiar with the matter said. As it turns out, Messi did not play with the Chicago franchise due to the injury.

The Fire and Red Bulls aren’t the only MLS clubs to take advantage of Messi Mania. On August 15 at Subaru Park, Philadelphia Union clashed with InterTh Set club records for average ticket price in a League Cup semi-final. The average ticket price for the Philadelphia Union-Inter Miami semifinal was $481, according to Kyle Zorn, content strategy at TickPick. On average, the company sold 4.8x more tickets for Inter Miami’s games than the average number of tickets sold per game for the other 67 League Cup matches played. The total average purchase price for each game Inter Miami played was $256, while all other League Cup games earned an average of $54.

Perhaps the best example of Messi’s impact on ticket sales is Sporting Kansas City vs Inter on September 9. The cheapest ticket sold for this game before it was announced that it was coming to Miami was $16. Once he signed his contract with the South Florida franchise, the cheapest ticket sold by TipPick was $125. After it was announced that the Argentinian would not play in this game due to his commitment to the Argentina national team, the price dropped and the company sold tickets for $20.

MLS best selling jersey

Messi’s pink number 10 shirt has been a popular item among soccer fans since the arrival of MLS in June. But for months the jersey was hard to come by. Adidas, MLS and Fanatic Forums. “Demand for Messi’s Miami jersey is truly unprecedented,” an Adidas spokesperson said in a statement on July 20, a month after Messi’s MLS debut was announced. “We are working as quickly as possible so that every fan who wants a jersey can get it.” Adidas and Inter Miami representatives did not respond to the Sporticos Asked for comment on this article, MLS declined to comment on the specifics of the delay on MLSstore.com.

Regardless of the supply and delivery issues, Messi’s jersey became MLS’ best-selling kit for 2023 within 45 minutes of debuting it, setting a record for revenue in a single club year on MLSStore.com, according to the league.

Launched in 2015, the Messi jersey is the best-selling MLS jersey in MLSstore.com history. Eighty-nine percent of Messi jersey buyers in the league’s store are first-time customers. Messi jerseys were Fanatics’ top seller across all sports in August, with Miami the second best-selling team overall, the retailer said.

At Soccerex Ascension in Miami earlier this month, Adidas predicted the club’s pink jersey would be among the brand’s top five best-selling jerseys next year. The German sportswear company makes shirts for the world’s top football clubs, including Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus.

What’s next?

Messi’s first season in MLS was short. Inter Miami finished the season 14th in the 29-team league after its star player missed a few crucial games due to injury.

Messi completed the 2023 season last week in Rio de Janeiro. The 36-year-old captained his World Cup-winning national team in the final World Cup qualifier of the year against Brazil at the historic Maracana Stadium. He did not score a goal for most of the game and was substituted in the 78th minute. After Argentina’s 1-0 win, he confirmed the injury and sent a hopeful message to his fans around the world.

“It was my last game of the year so 2024 I have time to start giving it my all.”





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