How the ‘Messi Effect‘ is taking America by storm.
Lionel Messi (36-Argentina), the “God of Soccer,” has been making waves in the United States since his move from Europe to Inter Miami of Major League Soccer (MLS).
Since joining Inter Miami, Messi has played two games in the first and second rounds of the 2023 League Cup, which pits MLS and Mexican teams against each other. Messi scored the game-winning goal in stoppage time against Mexican side Cruz Azul in the first leg in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Sept. 22 to give Inter a 2-1 victory. In the second leg, played at the same venue on the 26th, Messi had two goals and an assist against MLS side Atlanta United, leading the team to a 4-0 victory. He finished with three goals and one assist in two games.
The impact of Messi’s signing proved to be megatonic. Tickets for Messi’s debut soared up to $110,000 (approximately $143,000), and the 20,000+ seat stadium sold out. The average ticket price was $487, a tenfold increase from last year. Inter Miami’s Instagram following, which was around 1 million before Messi’s arrival, is now over 12.7 million, a more than 12-fold increase. That’s five times more than the 2.42 million Instagram followers (as of July 31) of the Denver Nuggets, this year’s champions of the National Basketball Association (NBA), one of the most popular sports in the United States.
The soccer world’s attention is now focused on how to sustain this mesh effect in the United States. There is a big trend in this regard. It is encapsulated by the words “Hispanic” (Spanish-speaking immigrants and their descendants) and “online.
For starters, MLS will likely use Messi to better engage Hispanic fans, who are among the most soccer-mad in the country. At an estimated 68 million, they are the largest soccer audience. The Hispanic response to the 1994 U.S. World Cup was a big part of the reason it broke even. That’s why MLS broadcasts in Spanish as well as English. Add in the soccer fanaticism of the U.S. and neighboring Mexico, and you have the makings of a huge North and Central American soccer market, either consolidated or created by the United States. Messi’s presence in the U.S. could also increase Mexican soccer fans’ interest in the League Cup, which features teams from both the U.S. and Mexico. “It’s going to be a must-see,” a senior MLS official recently told Forbes.
With this strong base of Hispanics, the MLS is looking to expand its market both inside and outside the United States. One of the tools it’s using to do so is online video services (OTT). Last year, MLS parted ways with its traditional broadcasters and signed a new 10-year, $3 trillion broadcast deal with Apple. Apple will exclusively broadcast the MLS to more than 100 countries around the world through its OTT-powered Apple TV service. It’s a move that recognizes the power of online broadcasting with no geographic or time barriers.
Apple TV is looking to expand its subscriber base with the arrival of Messi, who will capture the attention of soccer fans around the world. Apple immediately began producing more content around Messi, including a Messi documentary. Apple also offered Messi a sweetheart deal: a proportional share of revenue for each new subscriber. This is an incentive for Messi to keep doing more and more, as the longevity of his work is key. The longevity of Messi’s effect will depend on his continued performance and Apple TV’s ability to amplify the story.
Apple’s new foray into the ever-growing sports industry is a way for the company to build on its monetization expertise and drive sales of Apple products through Apple endorsements. It is interesting to see the synergy between the sports and big tech industries. Apple’s entry into the sports market could be a game changer for the world’s largest company by market capitalization. Messi is at the center of this new experiment.
In his late 30s, Messi’s run in the U.S. has been described by some as a “swan song,” a last-minute burst of brilliance. But if Messi changes the American soccer market itself, 카지노사이트 his impact will go down as a watershed or turning point.