Lionel Messi has not yet stepped foot on the DRV PNK Stadium turf but the diminutive Argentine is already taking over Miami.
Inter Miami supporters tailgating before the MLS game against Austin were treated to an early taster of the GOAT, in the form of a special edition beer from a local brewery.
Prison Pals Brewing Co. provided a beer entitled ‘GOAT’, with Messi’s famous Number 10 on the front. The can is decorated in the pink and black colours worn by Inter Miami and using the same font as is used on the MLS team’s shirt.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Prison Pals began life in Argentina, where CEO Juan Pipkin met fellow founder Bruno and current brewmaster Diego. They moved to the United States and set up shop in Doral, Florida. They’ve clearly not lost sight of their Argentinian roots.
Messi proves marketing boon ahead of MLS debut
Lionel Messi is one of the most marketable athletes on the planet and his imminent arrival is considered a major boon for MLS’ commercial operations. The Argentinian World Cup winner is even expected to eclipse the impact felt when David Beckham arrived from Real Madrid in 2007.
The effort to bring Messi to MLS has been one of herculean proportions, and one which has required buy-in from two of the league’s biggest commercial partners: adidas and Apple. Inter Miami have not yet been able to formally announce the signing while the relevant parties work towards an agreement.
However we do know that Messi has decided that Miami will be the venue for his next challenge and the marketing bombardment has already begun.
The adidas store in New York City’s SoHo neighbourhood is already decked out in Messi x Inter Miami advertisements. The storefront features a large display including Messi in an Inter Miami kit with the Number 10 on his back.
The display even features a tweaked version of the brand’s “Impossible is nothing” slogan, “Impossible is coming”. Even the non-football sportswear displays in the store are now only carrying products in black, white and pink: Inter Miami’s colours.
The Argentine is not even an Inter Miami player yet. The Messi madness is just getting started.