Lionel Messi ‘will quadruple’ Inter Miami’s revenue, claims the Herons’ commercial director with the income of David Beckham’s club set to rocket to $224 million in 2024

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Lionel Messi’s impact on Inter Miami seemingly knows no bounds with the soccer star set to quadruple its revenue, according to the club’s commercial director. 

Since arriving in mid-July, Messi, 36, has taken Inter Miami by storm, registering 11 goals in nine games across a fairytale Leagues Cup victory, run to the US Open Cup final, and his MLS debut. 

But the payoff of the Herons’ swoop for the World Cup winner extends beyond the confines of the field with Messi undeniably the club’s greatest asset.

Inter Miami’s commercial director Xavier Asensi, who joined the club in 2021 after 11 years at Barcelona, claimed that Messi’s arrival has sent the club’s income through the roof to more than $200 million. 

‘This must be clarified: Leo’s arrival is, above all, in order to win on the field,’ Asensi told Marca. 

Lionel Messi is set to quadruple Inter Miami's income next year, claims its commercial director

Lionel Messi is set to quadruple Inter Miami’s income next year, claims its commercial director

Xavier Asensi, pictured left with David Beckham, joined in 2021 after 11 years at Barcelona

Xavier Asensi, pictured left with David Beckham, joined in 2021 after 11 years at Barcelona

‘Obviously, Leo is the player that sells the most commercially in the world. Modric, Ramos, Griezmann or Busquets give you a little boost, but Leo is another dimension on a commercial level, he is out of this world. To get an idea, in 2024 we will multiply Inter’s income before Leo by four. There is a before and after Messi for Miami and for the entire MLS.’ 

Inter Miami generated $56 million in 2022, according to Joe Pompliano, meaning, if Asensi’s projection is correct, the club could see a massive windfall of $224 million in 2024. 

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And Inter Miami could already be feeling the economic benefits of the World Cup winner’s arrival as the Herons’ majority owner Jorge Mas told CNBC last month that he expected Messi to double the cub’s income this year to $110 million. 

Mas was a huge driving factor in Inter Miami’s coup of Messi with his plot to land the Argentine beginning in 2020, Asensi revealed. 

‘When I arrived in Miami, I saw that ​​Jorge Mas’s idea was to be the reference for soccer in North America. And, although football is business, above all it is about the players. If what happens inside is good, then business is bigger. For this reason, there was no better business than Leo Messi, who is the number one of all time. And I told Mas if he was the man for the job. This was almost my first conversation with Jorge at the end of 2020.’ 

‘When they threw him out of Barça, the door opened. If they hadn’t thrown him out, he would still be there for sure. But the option was opened, and that’s where the rest of us entered. Then he went to Paris and there was nothing we could do until June 2023. It is true that everyone was looking at Saudi Arabia, but we continued working on our own, planning his arrival. I’ll give you a fact: if you look closely, no one played with the number 5 or the number 10 in Miami…’ 

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Inter Miami had to add approximately 3,000 seats to DRV PNK Stadium to accommodate the demand of clamoring fans wanting to see the the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.

But Miami is set to have a bigger and better home you house their superstar with its 25,000-seat soccer-specific stadium at its proposed $1 billion Miami Freedom Park complex. 

Beckham is pictured with majority owner Jorge Mas (left) and co-owner Jose Mas (right)

Beckham is pictured with majority owner Jorge Mas (left) and co-owner Jose Mas (right)

Inter Miami is expected to move into its new stadium, Miami Freedom Park, in 2025

Inter Miami is expected to move into its new stadium, Miami Freedom Park, in 2025

Messi, David Beckham and co. are set to move into their new home in 2025 after playing at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida since Miami’s inaugural season in 2020. 

‘It will be next to the airport,’ Asensi said. ‘The plans are to start building it in October this year, with 30,000 seats, plus a giant leisure area and a huge park. 

‘For now, we manage the scale of Lionel with what we have. On the other hand, it is a luxury to see Leo play there, at a ground of only 21,000 spectators. It provides you with magic that one of 50,000 doesn’t.’ 

The goal timeline for the new stadium aligns with the final year of Messi’s contract in 2025 after he joined the Herons in mid-July but Asensi teased that the 36-year-old could be in South Florida for even longer. 

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‘The idea is 2023, 2024 and 2025… or more. Hopefully it’s further,’ he added. ‘An incredible thing is happening here: and it is that a player, Leo, is bigger than an entire club or an entire League. A new stadium is coming; the 2026 World Cup is coming; then the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles… A lot will happen here.’ 

Inter Miami was rocked by the demand for tickets and shirts since Messi confirmed his MLS move. 

Messi has already won the Leagues Cup final and booked a spot in the US Open Cup final

Messi has already won the Leagues Cup final and booked a spot in the US Open Cup final

Young fans wear the superstar's jersey ahead of Inter Miami's win over New York Red Bulls

Young fans wear the superstar’s jersey ahead of Inter Miami’s win over New York Red Bulls

Since the news broke, MLS e-commerce partner Fanatics has sold more team merchandise than the previous entirety of 2023 combined with Inter Miami has been the company’s top-selling MLS club. 

Asensi admitted it has been a challenge to keep up with the demand with jerseys with Messi’s name branded on the back impossible to come by in the shops. 

‘There has been a tsunami, but the tsunami has been Inter Miami, which has swept the MLS,’ he said.

‘I spent 11 years at Barça and everything was planned a year and a half before. Here, of course, we ran out of time. It was difficult to foresee this “Messimania”. A large amount of product will arrive in October and for 2024 we have already made good forecasts worldwide.’



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