Did Lionel Messi step foot in the United States solely to aid Inter Miami in securing the championship?
If your response is 'yes', then you stand corrected. Because Messi's purpose in coming to the United States goes beyond Miami; he arrived to revolutionize the nation's football scene and propel it several steps forward.
Whether we analyze it from a business perspective or assess the football quality itself, there's no room to debate the significant elevation in the football standard within the initial month and a half following Messi's arrival. Nonetheless, the impact of his influence on Major League Soccer's (MLS) earnings has now come to light.
Messi joined Inter Miami on July 16 and made his debut in US Soccer on July 21, squaring off against Cruz Azul. During that match, Messi secured victory for the team with a remarkable free kick during the final moments.
In total, he has participated in 9 matches for Miami, spending 744 minutes on the field and netting 11 goals. This prowess led Miami to clinch the League Cup trophy and advance to the finals of the US Open Cup.
Following an 11-game winless streak in MLS, Miami found its way back to triumph through Messi's contributions on the field. Notably, Messi's impact extends to the business realm as well. While this has been a boon to MLS, these stats still lag behind the NFL and NBA.
StubHub spokesperson Adam Budelli said :-
"“It’s hard to compare this to other sports. Yes, what we’re seeing in pricing for the MLS for Messi games is unprecedented. But if you look at average ticket prices for NFL Sunday games, that’s still king in that sense,"- Adam Budelli
Boardroom, an American sports, music, and entertainment company, has revealed that since Messi's introduction into the country's football scene, Inter Miami has sold tickets amounting to $26.5 million.
The anticipation is that ticket sales will continue to soar, given the scenes witnessed in the Miami matches' galleries. From Messi's initial appearance in the Inter Miami jersey to his debut match and all ensuing encounters, packed stadiums have been the norm. As for ticket prices? They've reached unprecedented heights.
As you're likely aware, Messi holds a contract with the 'Tech Giant' Apple. MLS matches are accessible on Apple TV Plus, and a portion of the proceeds from new subscribers tuning in to these matches will be directed to Messi. Apple and MLS have forged a $2.5 billion contract spanning around a decade.
According to Boardroom's report, Apple TV has gained an additional 30,000 subscriptions since Messi commenced his journey with Miami, resulting in a $30 million boost in the company's revenue.
All in all, football has transformed into a lucrative domain within the United States, and Messi is at the heart of it all.