On July 15, Lionel Messi officially joined Major League Soccer (MLS), signing for David Beckham’s Inter Miami. Since the move, Messi has drawn millions of new viewers to American soccer, pushing the league’s visibility to unfathomable levels.
American tech giant Apple has greatly benefitted from the Messi mania, thanks to their exclusive deal with MLS. Apple is the official broadcast partner of the league, meaning that one has to subscribe to Apple TV Plus’ MLS Season Pass to watch Messi and Co. in all their glory.
MLS, Apple, & Lionel Messi Are All Benefitting From Sponsored Posts
Beyond organic reach, Apple TV Plus is also starting to benefit from sponsored posts, which have just started to flow through Lionel Messi’s official Instagram handle.
As spotted by journalist Joe Pompliano, a post promoting MLS and Apple’s Season Pass recently went live on the Argentina icon’s Instagram page. The 36-year-old currently boasts a whopping 487 million followers, meaning the post is likely to reach millions of viewers who have not yet subscribed to the Season Pass. In the first hour alone, the post garnered over 500,000 likes, and one can only imagine where it can go from here.
Lionel Messi is doing sponsored Instagram posts for Apple’s MLS Season Pass to his 487 million followers.
The post has 500,000 likes in an hour, and Messi’s MLS deal includes a cut of all new MLS streaming signups.
Genius move by Apple and MLS 💰 pic.twitter.com/KjG5rVajcC
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) September 18, 2023
MLS, of course, benefits from the massive visibility that Messi’s Instagram profile brings. Apple, too, is raking in millions of dollars thanks to new subscriptions. And lastly, Messi is also benefitting from the arrangement thanks to a crafty clause in his contract.
According to Pompliano, Messi’s MLS deal includes a cut of all new MLS streaming subscriptions. So, the more posts come through the seven-time Ballon d’Or account, the more money they all stand to make.
Inter Miami Need Play-Off Qualifications To Bring More Subscribers
Before Lionel Messi came on board, Inter Miami had no chance of qualifying for the MLS Cup. Now, they have emerged as the dark horse in the race. Of course, the 5-2 defeat (without Messi) to Atlanta United on Friday (September 16) was a big blow, but that does not mean they do not have a chance anymore.
They currently sit seven points behind ninth-placed DC United (last playoff spot in Eastern Conference) with two games in hand. If Miami can string together a series of impressive results and get a bit of help from DC United, they can legitimately qualify for the 2023 MLS Cup. From then on, it can be anyone’s game.