One of the greatest sports stories this summer was the transfer of Lionel Messi from Barcelona, where he had spent 21 years of his career, to the Parisian PSG. Even though Messi is a status symbol of Barcelona, and according to some estimates the club had generated a third of its profit thanks to their most valuable player, forced by the financial fairl play rules, they had to thank Messi for his work and let him go. This is where PSG comes in, famous for their inexhaustible supply of money provided by the Emir of Qatar who has been known to invest large sums of money knowing that the club will start making money even before Messi steps on the pitch.
Holy Grail of a football fan – jersey
Upon signing the official contract, PSG announced it would release a EUR 160,00 priced jersey in online sale. As it usually happens, in the first 30 minutes over 250,000 jerseys were sold, earning the club over 40 million euros. Other related numbers are unfamiliar, but even Ronaldo (Messi’s greatest competitor who passed from Real Madrid to Juventes in 2017) did not achieve such a sales growth. The jersey-related demand is expected to grow further, and if the club does well this season, they will have a good financial perspective. Nike, i.e. their sister company Air Jordan, get a certain percentage from sales as sponsors, and it is estimated that Michael Jordan himself will make a lot of money from this transfer.
One of the most popular terms during transfer days was #MessiPSG, but PSG’s social networks saw a real turn at the moment of signing the contract. The number of followers of the Parisian club’s Instagram profile jumped by 1.2 million in three days, and that number continued to grow, slowing down to around 7 million in the first couple of weeks. Really impressive if we consider that all this was made possible by only one player.
According to the statistics of Social Blade, the most famous analytical platform for monitoring social network profiles, the club’s Tik-tok profile grew by 7.1 million new followers in the last 30 days, while Facebook recorded a milder growth of 2 million new likes.
Messi’s debut in the PSG jersey was awaited from the moment he officially signed, and it happened on Sunday, August 29, 2021, in a match against Rennes, when Messi replaced Neymar in the 66th minute and thus played for the first time for a club that was not Barcelona. The Spanish TV channel Telefonica officially bought the rights for that debut, and according to the calculations, over 2.2 million people followed it in Spain alone. The digital era made it easier to broadcast such matches, so a Twitch user Ibai Llanos, a sports influencer, broadcasted the match watched by as many as 2 million people.
Messi’s arrival at PSG is not only a sporting boost, but rocket fuel for marketing success that will enable the club to reach an even greater audience, greater influence and, ultimately, astronomical earnings. That is why the salary of one of the best football players of all time is not such a big deal, if we consider the return on inestment within a little less than a month.