In the summer of 2003, Florentino Perez, president of Real Madrid, insisted on acquiring David Beckham, a Manchester United star at the time. To complete such a task, he personally sent José Ángel Sánchez, one of Perez's most trusted men. According to the documentary "Galácticos," when he returned the call to his boss to tell him the demands of the English club to let the midfielder go, Perez was pleasantly surprised. Although they had asked for a few million euros, it seemed cheap, given that they did not consider all the other income a star like Beckham could generate. A year after signing the Englishman, Real Madrid became the club with the highest income in the world. Twenty years later, Becks himself is applying the same logic.
In July 2023, the Englishman signed Lionel Messi for Inter Miami. The Argentine arrived in Miami as the best player in the history of soccer after winning the World Cup in 2022, so his massive impact in Florida was to be expected. Almost two months after his debut on the field, the former FC Barcelona player unleashed an absolute economic shakeup.
A recent report by Fortune magazine detailed the so-called "Messi effect" on the North American club. To begin with, the Argentine revolutionized the social networks of the team, which, before his arrival, had a million followers on Instagram. As of Sept. 3, that number rose to nearly 15 million. In addition, the first goal by the #10 had 214 million views on the networks, according to a study by the company Zoomph.
Major League Soccer (MLS) matches are now broadcast on Apple TV, a platform that added some 300,000 subscribers during July, with Messi announcing his arrival to the team. Considering that the subscription for the entire football season amounts to 99 dollars, 30 million was generated in that month alone. Currently, there are 1.4 million subscribers.
As for ticket sales, Messi's arrival exponentially increased the price. According to Fortune's calculations, he has generated at least $265 million since his arrival in MLS. In the ticket resale market, the price has climbed 1,700% since July.
The Messi madness has also extended into the soccer jersey business. "Both Inter Miami and Adidas, sponsor of all MLS teams, reported in July that orders for shirts with Messi's number 10 are delayed until October," Infobae reported.
Last but not least, as far as the club's income goes, it is expected to double during the first year of the Argentine's tenure. Investment firm Ares Management contributed $75 million to Beckham's club two weeks ago. No other signing had caused these revenues in such a short time, so it is expected that Messi's aforementioned economic revolution is only beginning.