The Messi Effect

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Disruption in Social Media: Lionel Messi’s Reported Transfer to Inter Miami CF

Inter Miami’s latest acquisition of the global icon has made their ticket prices go up by 1000%. Lionel Messi will reportedly sign up for Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami CF after ending his contract at Paris Saint-Germain. Messi’s arrival has the potential to elevate MLS to unprecedented heights, surpassing all expectations. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Messi’s stature surpasses even that of Beckham, marking a significant milestone for the league.


Inter Miami’s Reported Offer.

The specific details of Lionel Messi’s contract with Inter Miami have not been made public. However, it is expected to be a significant decrease compared to his earnings during his two seasons with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the French Ligue 1.

In 2021, Messi signed a two-year agreement with PSG that reportedly provided him with an annual net salary of $41 million, including bonuses. The contract also included a $30 million signing bonus and a portion of the profits from image rights, such as jersey sales, which could have potentially raised his annual earnings to $75 million.

However, Major League Soccer (MLS) operates under a salary cap system, which limits teams’ spending. In 2023, the salary cap is set at $5.21 million, resulting in a significant reduction in Messi’s salary at Inter Miami. In contrast, there were reports of a multi-year offer in excess of $A600 million for Messi to play in the Saudi Professional League.

So, why did Messi choose to sign with Inter Miami? According to a report from The Athletic, he has additional financial incentives outside of the MLS. This includes a share of the revenue generated from new subscribers to the MLS Season Pass, the league’s streaming A package on Apple TV+. Additionally, there is a similar arrangement in place with Adidas, the official outfitter of the MLS, which would reportedly provide Messi with a share of any increased profits resulting from his involvement.

Whether Messi will have one of the top-10 salaries in the MLS remains uncertain. Nonetheless, he will undoubtedly be among the highest-paid athletes in the league.


Social Media Impact

Following Wednesday’s announcement, the news has created a social media frenzy. So how has this influenced their online engagement?

Skyrocketing Followers and Engagement:

The arrival of Lionel Messi at Inter Miami CF instantly attracted a massive surge in social media followers for the club. According to Joe Pompliano, Inter Miami CF experienced a remarkable surge in Instagram followers, with a staggering increase of 4.2 million within a 24-hour timeframe. As a result, the team has now surpassed all NFL, MLB, NHL, and MLS teams in terms of total followers on the platform. Based on Wednesday’s announcement, Inter Miami CF has become the most followed club in Major League Soccer (MLS).

Fans of Messi and football enthusiasts alike flocked to Inter Miami’s social media accounts to stay updated on his journey with the team. This increased follower count translated into a substantial rise in engagement levels, with fans actively interacting with the club’s posts, sharing their excitement, and generating discussions surrounding Messi’s impact on the team and the MLS.

Viral Content Opportunities: 

The magnitude of Messi’s transfer provided Inter Miami CF with numerous opportunities to create viral content. Captivating videos, photos, and stories related to Messi’s training sessions, debut match, and standout performances circulated widely across social media platforms. Such content generated immense buzz and excitement, amplifying the visibility of Inter Miami and attracting attention from both football enthusiasts and general social media users.

Expanding Global Reach: 

Lionel Messi’s worldwide popularity acted as a catalyst in expanding Inter Miami CF’s global reach. The signing captured the attention of fans from all corners of the globe, leading to increased interactions, shares, and mentions of the club on social media platforms. This wider reach enabled Inter Miami to connect with new audiences and potentially cultivate a larger international fan base. 

The next FIFA World Cup will be hosted by the USA and Mexico in 2026. Messi is certainly not ruling out playing for Argentina in the next World Cup. His potential participation in the World Cup while representing Argentina and playing for Inter Miami CF would create a massive buzz on social media platforms. Fans around the world would eagerly follow and engage with updates, generating heightened discussions, sharing of content, and increased follower counts for both Messi and Inter Miami CF. The combination of his global popularity and the World Cup’s immense appeal would amplify the social media presence of both Messi and his club.

Influencing Sponsorship Opportunities:

Messi’s transfer to Inter Miami CF has opened up new sponsorship possibilities for the club. The heightened social media presence, augmented engagement, and global exposure garnered through Messi’s association attracted the interest of new potential sponsors. Brands seeking to align themselves with Messi and leverage his star power may choose to partner with Inter Miami CF, amplifying the club’s social media impact and financial prospects.

Inter Miami presents a compelling proposition due to its alignment with multiple factors. Firstly, the prospect of hosting the 2026 World Cup in the USA enhances the team’s appeal. Additionally, the team boasts future ownership prospects, notable partnerships with Adidas (including sponsorships with MLS, Messi, and Argentina), and collaboration with AppleTV for an upcoming documentary. 

Enhanced League Exposure: 

The arrival of a football icon like Lionel Messi at Inter Miami CF provided a significant boost to Major League Soccer (MLS) as a whole. The league gained increased visibility on social media platforms, with more conversations, discussions, and media coverage revolving around Messi’s performances and his impact on the MLS. This heightened exposure will attract new fans to the league, both domestically and internationally, and contribute to its continued growth and popularity.


Lionel Messi’s transfer to Inter Miami CF has undeniably ignited a social media frenzy. The combination of his immense talent, global fan base, and the allure of a new footballing adventure has created a perfect storm of social media engagement. Inter Miami CF has experienced a meteoric rise in followers, engagement, and global reach, while the MLS as a whole has benefitted from heightened exposure. As Messi continues to leave his mark on the club and the league, the social media phenomenon surrounding his transfer will likely endure, reinforcing the long-lasting power of football as a captivating force in the digital world.

To join the digital revolution sparked by Lionel Messi’s transfer to Inter Miami CF and witness the captivating power of football unfold in the digital world, connect with Red Herring Digital today. As experts in social media engagement and reach, Red Herring Digital can help your brand ride the wave of this phenomenon and maximise your online presence. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to leverage the immense talent and fan base of Messi to skyrocket your brand’s visibility. Get ready to turn the social media frenzy into tangible success for your business.


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