Messi , revolving around the New Miami Star, has had an incredible impact on Major League Soccer (MLS) and Inter Miami CF.
Since Lionel Messi announced his move to the four-year-old MLS club, Inter Miami’s popularity skyrocketed in such a way that it’s almost unbelievable.
Throughout the tumultuous transfer saga, the official unveiling as part of the MLS club, his debut in the Leagues Cup, and his domination in matches, the Messi Mania wave seemed to draw a historical line that divided the era before and after Messi in the league.
During an Adidas press conference held ahead of Lionel Messi’s debut with the MLS club, Inter Miami, club owner and soccer icon, David Beckham, described the future of soccer in America as shining brightly thanks to Messi’s presence.
Beckham, who has witnessed the growth of soccer in America over the past 10 to 15 years, stated that Messi’s presence is not only beneficial for Inter Miami or MLS alone but also has an incredible global impact.
The world’s attention, not just from Latin America but from all corners of the globe, is now focused on Miami, which has become the home of this soccer maestro.
This historic event has transformed every aspect of the soccer industry in America, creating a frenzy like never before.
Although Inter Miami CF previously had a relatively low regular-season win rate, thanks to Messi Mania, the club suddenly became immensely popular worldwide.
The number of searches about Inter Miami on Google skyrocketed, reaching over 1,200% after the news of Messi’s move to the club was revealed.
Not just in the digital realm, Messi’s presence also brought a breath of fresh air to soccer-related businesses in America.
Sales of Messi’s collectibles, including trading cards and memorabilia, surged over 75% shortly after his transfer announcement.
Inter Miami match ticket sales also had a significant impact, with ticket prices for Messi’s debut match against Cruz Azul from Liga MX skyrocketing over 1,000%.
Average ticket prices reached astonishing figures, reflecting Messi’s magnetic appeal to soccer fans.
Inter Miami merchandise and jerseys with Messi’s name were sold out in no time.
In the first 24 hours of Messi jersey sales, the record-breaking figures surpassed other star players’ club switch sales in various famous sports, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Tom Brady, and LeBron James.
Merchandise sales for this team soared to unprecedented heights in MLS history.
Not only boosting Inter Miami’s popularity, but the Messi Effect has also brought significant financial benefits to MLS as a whole.
This once-potentially-doubted American soccer club is now experiencing incredible revenue growth thanks to Messi’s arrival.
In 2022, Forbes reported Inter Miami’s revenue as $56 million, with its valuation reaching approximately $600 million at that time.
With Messi as a powerful magnet for soccer fans and audiences worldwide, the expectation to double the club’s revenue and valuation is not an impossible feat.
Even in the sports card world, the Messi Effect proved to be incredibly strong. A rookie card of Lionel Messi from Panini Sports Megacracks 2004-05 with a PSA gem-mint 10 grade sold for an astounding price, marking extraordinary financial potential for the sports card industry with Messi’s presence in the American league.
Messi, with numerous extraordinary achievements in his global soccer career, still maintains the spirit and intent to seek new challenges and push the boundaries of his career.
Messi’s presence in Inter Miami serves as proof that even for someone who has achieved it all in global soccer, there are still limits to be broken and new territories to be conquered profitably.
The Messi Effect not only increases popularity but also monumentally changes the course of soccer in America, opening new opportunities for growth and exploration of soccer potential in this nation.