(Miami) Boom in subscriptions on social networks, soaring ticket prices, pending the raid on merchandising… the Lionel Messi effect is already being felt by the figures, the day after the announcement of his arrival at the ‘Inter Miami and therefore in MLS.
The Argentinian world champion has yet to sign his contract with the Florida club and the big question is when he will play his first match in his new jersey.
It is such that it is already having an impact on the ticket office, which is usually very calm in MLS. According to specialist company Logitix, demand for tickets on the resale market in the last 24 hours following Messi’s announcement has skyrocketed for Inter Miami’s upcoming games, to be four times higher. to that recorded when the tickets went on sale, i.e. 169 days earlier.
The average purchase price for Team Florida’s home games increased from $31 to $152, while for away games it increased from $94 to $207. The biggest increase was recorded for the August 20 game against Charlotte FC, with average sale prices climbing from $18 to $169.
Messi might as well make his debut for Miami on July 21, in the League Cup (an annual competition including Mexican clubs) against Cruz Azul. Also the prices have soared, from 24 to 521 dollars.
These figures will certainly encourage MLS teams to consider relocating matches against Messi’s Inter, in stadiums larger than their own, generally limited to 20,000, 25,000 people maximum.
When “la pulga” (the chip) came in 2017 with FC Barcelona, he filled MetLife Stadium in New York, FedEx Field in Washington and Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, three NFL stadiums that can accommodate between 65,000 and 80,000 people.
The buzz became a huge buzz on social media, as Inter Miami’s Instagram follower count quintupled in a matter of hours, from 900,000 Wednesday morning to 5.7 million followers Thursday morning.
This figure is more than double that of the Kansas City Chiefs, winners of the last Super Bowl and even exceeds the 4.5 million subscribers of the popular Dallas Cowboys. Only a few NBA teams have more “followers”.
On all social networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), Inter now has more than 7.5 million subscribers, but Miami-wide is still far from the Heat (27 million).
However, that could quickly change, when we know that Messi has 469 million on his Instagram account alone, making him the second most popular sportsman in the world behind Cristiano Ronaldo and his 588 million followers.
Finally, for Inter and its equipment supplier Adidas, which also happens to be that of the Argentinian, with a life contract, the prospects can only be flourishing. If his future jersey, predominantly pink, remains to be marketed, it is possible to buy one on the club and MLS websites, one by flocking the name and the N.10 of Messi, for a small additional cost.
And, already Wednesday evening in the Heat room, some Argentina tunics with Messi on the back were visible, next to those of the star Jimmy Butler.
The latter, a football fan, did not minimize the event Thursday in front of the media, the day after the defeat against Denver, which leads 2-1 in the NBA finals: “I am excited for the city of Miami , that we have a player of this caliber. I believe football fans will come from all over the world to see him play here.”