Argentinian soccer legend Lionel Messi's upcoming move to Major League Soccer club Inter Miami is making waves in the sports world. With numerous offers on the table, including a reported half a billion dollars per year from a team in Saudi Arabia, Messi has ultimately chosen to make a groundbreaking move to the United States. This decision solidifies Messi's status as one of the biggest names in global football. The collaboration between Messi and Inter Miami, supported by tech giant Apple, signals a new era for the MLS and highlights the growing significance of streaming platforms in the sports industry. Messi's arrival in Miami is set to draw global attention and elevate the profile of the MLS, amplifying its reach and impact. Fans eagerly anticipate witnessing the unparalleled skills and magic that Lionel Messi brings to the field as he embarks on this exciting chapter of his career.
Renowned Argentinian soccer icon Lionel Messi is seemingly bound for the United States, as reports suggest he is set to sign with Major League Soccer club Inter Miami. Despite turning down lucrative offers, including a reported half a billion dollars per year from a Saudi Arabian team, Messi has chosen the MLS as his new destination.
The deal to bring Messi to the U.S. reportedly involves more than just his new team's financial contributions. Tech giant Apple is said to be pitching in, and this collaboration stems from Apple TV+, the company's streaming service, recently acquiring broadcasting rights for MLS games. With Messi joining the MLS, the increased global attention on these matches is expected to benefit Apple TV+.
Andrés Martinez, a professor at Arizona State University's Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, highlights the significance of sports in streaming platforms' business strategies. He emphasizes that Apple TV is effectively securing the world's superstar in the most popular global sport.
In an edited conversation with "Marketplace Morning Report" host David Brancaccio, Martinez explains that Apple signed a 10-year deal with the MLS for global TV rights and will provide Messi with revenue-sharing participation. He emphasizes the importance of live sports in driving subscriptions, citing Nielsen ratings that reveal 94 out of the 100 most-watched telecasts in the U.S. were live sporting events.
Martinez further discusses the rising prominence of soccer in the U.S. and its impact on the global sports landscape, driven by technology and media. He points out the interesting connection between Apple and soccer, referencing the popular series "Ted Lasso," which initially served as a promotional tool for NBC's acquisition of Premier League rights in the U.S. Apple later transformed the character into a beloved comedy that transcends the sport itself.
This union reflects the intersection of a global sport and the worldwide reach of U.S. media. With Messi's immense popularity, boasting three times more Instagram followers than LeBron James, Apple recognizes his value and offers him equity in their overarching objectives.
The convergence of Messi's arrival in Miami, Apple's streaming ambitions, and the growing soccer craze in the U.S. contributes to an intriguing narrative that underscores the symbiotic relationship between sports, media, and technology.