For the second year in a row, Lionel Messi‘s Inter Miami No. 10 jersey ranks No. 1 on the list of top-selling Adidas MLS jerseys on, the league said Monday.

But jersey sales are just a part of the thriving business of Messi.

Since the Argentinian soccer star’s arrival in the United States last July, MLS has seen its league revenue grow 17% and club sponsorship revenue grow 15%. The league also said it saw a 200% average increase in gross gates for Messi’s matches.

The 36-year-old Messi is a mega influencer by social media standards, with over 500 million Instagram followers. He is still second to Portuguese soccer phenom Cristiano Ronaldo, but according to KORE, a data and intelligence platform, Messi’s social media channels generated $52 million in adjusted ad value since last March, 2.5 times more value than the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Messi’s star power and global impact make him a magnet for sponsors.

Adidas, a longtime partner, is one of Messi’s primary sponsors, along with many global brands, including Pepsi, Huawei, Gatorade, Lay’s, Mastercard, Louis Vuitton, Budweiser, Gillette, Tata Motors, and Lowe’s. He is also the face of the ‘Visit Saudi’ campaign, a $25 million deal over three years.

Sportico ranks Messi third among the 100 highest-paid athletes of 2023, with $130 million, including $65 million from sponsors.

Messi’s influence extends beyond traditional endorsements. At Hard Rock Cafe, a burger and a chicken sandwich are named after him.

He also starred in a Super Bowl ad for Michelob Ultra and has an ongoing partnership with the brand, which is also a sponsor of Copa America, a CONMEBOL tournament that will take place in the U.S. this summer. Messi’s Argentina is the defending champion.

The Argentinian’s most recent business move is a partnership with White Claw’s parent company, Mark Anthony Brands International, to create a new hydration beverage, Más+ by Messi.

However, not everything he touches turns to gold. In 2018, MGO Global signed a licensing deal with the soccer superstar to leverage the Messi brand to sell clothing. The company couldn’t turn their exclusive contract into a profitable business. By the end of 2023, their losses had skyrocketed to $11.4 million. MGO was paying Messi about $1.3 million annually in minimum royalties under a contract ending in December. In March, MGO Global decided to sell the Messi clothing line license and it was bought by Centric Brands for $2 million in May.


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