Messi Magic: Inter Miami sees record-breaking numbers for social media and sponsorship
It’s been a busy summer for Inter Miami. Since the news of Lionel Messi’s transfer from PSG to Inter Miami went public on June 8, the club has been touched by the “Messi Effect.” From social media performance to sponsorship exposure, Inter Miami has had a record-breaking six weeks. Not to mention that Inter Miami’s managing owner Jorge Mas told CNBC the club’s revenue is expected to double over the next year, and the team’s valuation could reach $1.3 billion by 2024. Forbes’ most recent valuation of Inter Miami was $600 million.
Messi made his Inter Miami transfer official on Saturday, July 15, when he signed with the club. Six days later on Friday, July 21, legendary soccer player Messi made his Inter Miami debut against Liga MX team Cruz Azul. Despite not starting the game, Messi came on in the 54th minute and went on to score a beautiful free kick in extra time to win the game. It’s not very often you see a player score the winning goal in his or her debut, but when it’s Leo Messi you can expect to see the extraordinary. Starting off hot, Leo Messi is looking to light up the MLS.
Messi social followers > US population
Messi has almost 600 million followers across Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. For context, this year he has averaged more than 7 million engagements per post and more than $4 million in media value per post. Messi’s post after his Inter Miami debut has earned more than 15.8 million engagements and is valued at over $9.5 million dollars.
Messi boosts Inter Miami’s social performance against global leagues & teams
This isn’t the first time we have seen a big name make a change in scenery. Some names that come to mind are Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Beckham, Lebron James, and even Leo Messi, who transferred from FC Barcelona to PSG in August 2021. These transfers have a direct effect on the teams — from social and digital to sponsorship exposure. Often these teams will see an uptick in engagements, videos views, followers, and sponsorship valuation.
As we mentioned, Messi signed with Inter Miami on July 15, and six days later the Argentine made his MLS debut.
In the eight days from Messi signing to the Saturday after his first game where he scored the last minute, game-winning goal against Cruz Azul, Inter Miami has dominated social media globally. What does this mean exactly? Using Blinkfire’s Global Ranking Report, Inter Miami led all leagues and teams in the Premier League, LaLiga, Ligue 1, Formula 1, and NBA by total engagements from July 15 – July 22, 2023.
Inter Miami holds the #1 spot across Premier League and teams on total engagements for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
Inter Miami holds the #1 spot across LaLiga and teams on total engagements for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
Inter Miami holds the #1 spot across Ligue 1 and teams on total engagements for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
Inter Miami holds the #1 spot across Formula 1 and teams on total engagements for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.
Inter Miami holds the #1 spot across NBA and teams on total engagements for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Threads, YouTube, and TikTok.
Messi’s impact on Inter Miami is undeniable
Inter Miami’s Daily Engagement
Messi’s debut and Inter Miami’s Cruz Azul victory earned the team more than 41.7 million total engagements across their social media accounts on Friday, July 21. This means that in just one day, Inter Miami drove 26% of their total engagements for the year. When you put that into perspective, you see the larger than lift impact Leo Messi has had on Inter Miami’s social media.
Inter Miami’s Follower Growth
When Messi first announced his move to Inter Miami, in just 24 hours, the team added 4.1 million new followers. During a 10-day period that included Messi’s signing and his MLS debut, Inter Miami grew their social following 35% to 21.25 total followers.
Inter Miami, Media Companies, and the MLS drive value for XBTO
It’s no doubt that Messi has the Midas Touch. From June 8, when Messi verbally committed to Inter Miami to July 21, his first game against Cruz Azul, Inter’s front-of-jersey sponsor XBTO’s sponsorship exposure increased 21x across the team’s owned and operated social media accounts compared to January 1 – June 7 of this year. What’s more, in the eight days between Messi’s signing and his first game, XBTO’s media value increased 415% and earned 36.57 million engagements across Inter Miami’s Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Threads.
Beyond Inter Miami’s owned and operated accounts, players (ahem, Messi), media companies, MLS, and MLS teams have driven valuable exposure for the cryptofinance company. Below is a breakdown showing the percent distribution of sponsorship value driven for XBTO by Inter Miami, roster players, media companies, and the MLS + teams.
Inter Miami Players
MLS & MLS Teams
Inter Miami & Messi: The hottest celebrity ticket in Miami
Messi’s move to Miami and his MLS debut brought the stars out for his first and second games — it was a who’s who of famous people. From David Beckham and Victoria Beckham to Serena Williams, Kim Kardashian, David Grutman, and DJ Khaled celebrities, athletes, and influencers couldn’t miss Messi.
Messi signed and gave a jersey to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s son, Saint, after his first game with Inter Miami. Kardashian posted about it on her Instagram Story — which SportsCenter and other media outlets picked up.
Lebron James, Kim Kardashian, and Serena Williams sat front row watching Messi’s debut at DRV PNK Stadium.
David Beckham, part owner of Inter Miami, took PR pictures with Messi upon signing and attended the game with his family and other celebrities like P Diddy, Kim Kardashian, and Camila Cabello.
DJ Khaled attended Messi’s second game Tuesday night. His son, Asahd, walked out with Messi for pregame festivities and immediately started crying. A video then went viral of Messi consoling Asahd.
Singer songwriter Camila Cabello also attended Tuesday, game and showed support for Messi during his debut.
Other fun, culture moments that have happened during Messi’s arrival to Miami: family grocery shopping at Publix and a sandwich dedicated to him at Hard Rock Cafe.
Messi’s journey with Inter Miami has only just started, but we can’t wait to see how the rest of the season progresses and the continued impact he has on MLS.
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