Lionel Messi’s transfer to Inter Miami in 2023 has become the talk of the town. The Argentine world cup winner arrived in Miami amidst much fanfare and was unveiled in a glittering ceremony on Monday.
The signing of Messi by Miami was a major coup for the club, and it has already had a significant impact on its growth.
One notable and eye-catching change was Inter Miami’s social media following, which almost quadrupled after the announcement of Messi’s arrival, and their merchandise sales also shot up dramatically.
USA Today published a report which revealed how Inter Miami’s followers went up from 1 million to 4.5 million after Messi’s move from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). Until then, it was LA Galaxy, which was the most-followed club in MLS (with approximately 1.4 million followers)
Interestingly, the French club reportedly lost around a million Instagram followers with Messi leaving PSG. According to Goal.com, PSG roughly lost at least 8,00,000 over a weekend.
What about ticket sales?
The club has also seen a surge in ticket sales, and they are now on the way to becoming one of the most popular teams in MLS.
Data from online marketplace TickPick revealed that Inter Miami’s ticket prices kept rising since the news of Messi’s move to MLS. For example, the lowest ticket price before the Messi announcement was $29. But as soon as it was clear that Messi was on his way to America, the cheapest ticket available was reportedly for $544.
Messi’s unveiling was in front of a packed house on Monday despite horrible weather conditions that delayed the show. But nobody seemed to mind the soaking rain that pounded down throughout the evening. However, that was not the case with Miami a few months ago.
Regarding attendance among the 28 MLS teams, Miami was the lowest, with an average crowd of 12,821. It could not sell out an 18,000-seat venue at its home stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
Since it was launched in March 2020, the club has been unable to meet its lofty expectations on and off the field — in hindsight, probably too lofty. But the wheels are turning.
Messi’s signing has had a positive impact. Now slowly but surely, people are coming in to watch the global icon. The deal with Apple Tv also suggests that it will help MLS increase their viewership and elevate its brand. Messi’s presence in the MLS has made the league more attractive to players, sponsors, and investors.
Messi could make his Inter Miami debut on Friday in the Leagues Cup against Cruz Azul.
Article Source: indianexpress.com