CEM REPORT, SPORTS | Perhaps the best deal Inter Miami CL has made in a long time is the recent signing of Lionel Messi for $60 million per year as it has brought them more fortunes commercially and increased audience traffic.
The signing of the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner by the MLS side is expected to double the club’s revenue in a year and could increase the club’s valuation by more than $1 billion according to owner Jorge Mas.
Mas also said that the team’s valuation could reach $1.5 billion next year, a 150 per cent increase from $600 million today. This implies that the club is projecting a revenue of $110 million from $56 million in 2022.
If this is achieved it would make Inter Miami the most-valuable MLS club shooting it from its present 11th valued team in the league. The figure will also make it more valuable than Premier League clubs like West Ham, Everton, Newcastle United, Aston Villa, and others.
Messi has about 480 million followers on Instagram, which has shot Inter Miami CF Instagram followers to over 13 million followers since the signing. The team now has more Instagram followers than the other 28 MLS teams combined.
This is valuable because Inter Miami will now make much more running into tens of millions on annual sponsorship deals.
In shirt sales, Messi sold about 2 million shirts annually when he was at FC Barcelona. If half of this was to be replicated at Inter Miami it implies that the club will sell shirts worth $200 million.
With clubs typically netting about 15% of the sales price, depending on where the shirt is sold, Inter Miami would make an extra $30 million from Messi’s shirt sales in a year.
The GOAT was offered €400m ($436m) per year by Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal, an amount the MLS side could not offer the star. The deal was made possible with Apple and Adidas’ involvement.
Apple recently acquired the exclusive global broadcasting rights to MLS via a 10-year, $2.5 billion deal ($250 million per year). To make the Messi deal possible Apple offered Messi a cut of every new MLS signup, which has never been done before.
Messi has since been promoting the direct signup link to his followers.
Adidas on the other hand offered Messi a royalty on every MLS shirt he sells. So, every time someone buys a Lionel Messi shirt from Inter Miami, he receives a cut of the sale from Adidas, which is estimated to be worth millions.
Additionally, Lionel Messi is earning shares in Inter Miami CF revenue-sharing agreements with Apple and Adidas. This means he will share in whatever financial gains the team makes as a result of his signing.
Lionel Messi may wind up earning just as much money in the United States as he would have in Saudi Arabia if early results provide any indication.