Replica shirts bearing his name are flying off the shelves, followers are flocking by the million to his new club’s social media accounts and TV rights suddenly looking for a bargain. There is hence, no doubt that Lionel Messi’s arrival in Paris has surely set the money train in motion.
Paris Saint-Germain’s chairman Nasser al-Khelaifi bluntly told reporters on Wednesday that people would be “shocked” by the revenue the 34-year-old six-time Ballon d’Or soccer world player of the year would bring to the club.
“It will bring PSG a lot of money, and it will bring fans a lot of fun and joy. There’s something in it for everyone, and everybody will be happy.”
Amazon, recently in June won the rights to broadcast 80% of the top French division’s matches at a fraction of the original price after partner Mediapro pulled out, and is said to be among the winners, said sports marketing expert Vincent Chaudel.
“Amazon already got its early Christmas present in June and now just won the lottery. Broadcasting so many matches for so little money, with Messi on top of that, it’s all a big win,” Chaudel said, as quoted by Reuters.
However, it is expected that the actual financial impact, would be less than when Brazilian forward Neymar joined the deep-pocketed PSG in 2017 and that’s simply because Neymar arrived just before sponsorship and shirt deals were renegotiated, whereas they are now locked in until 2032.
PSG gains 3 million-plus new social media followers
Moreover, on social media, the numbers became visible as soon as rumours of a possible transfer to PSG started. According to activity tracker Talkwalker, PSG gained 3 million followers, including 2.1 million on Instagram and 611,000 thousand on Facebook, all from Friday evening to Tuesday evening. An estimate by Front Office Sports showed a 4.5 million increase on Instagram alone over the past 24 hours.
FC Barcelona’s president Joan Laporta credited Messi for roughly a third of the club’s income. Consultants Brand Finance estimated his departure could decrease Barca’s brand value by 11%. Whereas, it is estimated that Messi’s arrival could boost PSG’s value by 10-20%, which was valued at $2.5 billion by Forbes in April.