When Lionel Messi was on the fence on whether he would play in Saudi Arabia or the United States, along came David Beckham and convinced him Major League Soccer was the best choice on his plate. The Manchester United legend wasn’t wrong, you can tell he is happy everyday Messi dons the pink kit just by looking at his eyes. Any country where Leo landed would be injected with millions of dollars in a matter of weeks, his star power even has other great athletes such as LeBron James attending his games in Miami. But just to give you an idea of how much this impact means, let’s talk about revenue numbers and what this means for the MLS as a whole.
How much money has Leo Messi generated in the Miami?
Right after the first game, those who have followed Messi’s career instantly thought that the United States and the MLS were not ready for what Messi would do. The impact in terms of money has brought an estimated $265 million in stadium ticket prices alone. Apple TV, which is where all of Inter Miami’s games are streaming had an added 300,000 new subscrbers that generated $29.7 million as a result. That is all you need to know how big of an impact this has been. But we still haven’t talked about Messi’s Inter Miami kit sales. Those are also through the roof and the stores had to restock everything after only a few days of sales. On his first 24 hours, Lionel Messi broke Cristiano Ronaldo, LeBron James, and Tom Brady’s records of most jerseys sold on the first day since.
But none of that even matters if Leo Messi hadn’t already scored 11 goals, provided 3 assists, and won the Leagues Cup upon arrival. His debut MLS goal will be replayed countless times all around the world but only because very few players in history have been able to create a goal chance out of thin air. While Messi keeps playing, he will not only improve his teammates every game but he will also improve all his rivals. When the Messi effect leaves the country, the influence he had in American soccer will be felt for many years to come after he’s gone. Just like Michael Jordan said when asked about Jordan Brand’s cultural impact in the sport. None of those sales would be possible if he hadn’t performed the way he did. This rule of thumb applies to Messi as well.
Don’t forget Lionel Messi plays again on Wednesday against Nashville SC. His second MLS game. You will be able to watch it through the MLS Season Pass, only on AppleTV+