How Apple and Adidas Helped Inter Miami Lure Lionel Messi to the MLS

How Apple and Adidas Helped Inter Miami Lure Lionel Messi to the MLS

Ero Samson
June 8, 2023 at 2:20 PM
  • Lionel Messi recently completed a move to MLS side Inter Miami
  • The Argentine star was linked with a move back to Barcelona
  • Apple and Adidas’ deal helped ensured Inter Miami signed him

By deciding to join Inter Miami, not only did Lionel Messi snub millions but he also resisted the temptation of an emotional reunion with his boyhood club, FC Barcelona.

Messi also rejected a lucrative offer from Saudi Pro League club, Al-Hilal, who were reportedly willing to agree to a record-breaking $400 million deal with the Argentine sensation.

Messi, Argentina, football
Lionel Messi completed a move to Inter Miami, ending speculations about his future. Image: Joe Raedle.
Source: Getty Images

If Messi would have agreed to the offer, he would have become the highest-paid sportsman on the planet, surpassing his eternal rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese veteran reportedly received $200 mil from Al-Hilal’s rival club, Al-Nassr.

“If it had been a matter of money, I would have gone to Saudi Arabia or elsewhere", Messi told Sport after confirming his move to the Major League Soccer (MLS) club, Inter Miami.

Messi also rejected an offer to return to Barcelona, a club he called home for over two decades until his unceremonious exit in 2021.

Following the tearful exit forced by financial problems, he joined French giants, Paris Saint-Germain for free in 2021.

But after a two-year stint with the Parisian club, Messi decided to end his European journey which saw him reap both domestic success and failure at a European level.

How Inter Miami signed Messi

David Beckham-owned club, Inter Miami have been struggling to find themselves in the top half of the MLS table since their inception in 2018.

The team is languishing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and need a miracle - perhaps that is why they have signed the Argentine magician.

However, Inter Miami also had pull a lot of strings to bring the greatest footballer of the modern era to the United States. They could not do it by themselves, so they sought the help of the world’s biggest brands.

According to a reports by Goal, tech giants, Apple were involved in several high-level meetings with the MLS last week to discuss the possibility of offering Messi a share of the income generated by new subscribers to Season Pass - the American top flight's streaming package on Apple TV+.

Both parties saw the Argentine's potential arrival as a breakthrough moment for American soccer and worked to ensure the deal went through.

Earlier this year, Apple and MLS penned a 10-year agreement worth $2.5 billion and on Tuesday, the tech giants announced they would produce and stream a four-part docuseries on Messi’s FIFA World Cup journey.

Meanwhile, Adidas, one of the largest corporate sponsors of the MLS, also reportedly planned its own arrangement to lure Messi to the United States.

Sources told The Athletic on Tuesday that Messi is being offered a profit-sharing agreement with the sportswear giants, which would see the veteran receive a share of any increase in profits resulting from his participation in MLS.

Messi’s move to benefit Barcelona

Earlier, Sports Brief reported on how Messi’s MLS move could benefit Barcelona despite his turning down a fairytale return to Camp Nou.

There is no reason why the club cannot go for a best-in-class Sergio Busquets replacement, as well as bolstering the team in other areas.

La Liga was won at a canter with its current team and boosting the squad across all departments could translate to even greater success.

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Ero Samson
Samson Ero is an experienced sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry
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