Infographic: Lionel Messi's Impact on Miami—and Soccer

This could be the tipping point for the beautiful game in the U.S.

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Soccer has been growing in popularity in the U.S.—thanks, in part, to a dominant women’s national team. But as any good marketer knows, a celebrity can change the game.

On July 15, Inter Miami CF announced the signing of 36-year-old global phenomenon Lionel Messi to a contract that runs until the end of the 2025 Major League Soccer season. It’s an understatement to say the deal has raised people’s interest in the league, making it more attractive to advertisers and the platforms that carry the matches, including Apple TV+ and Max. 

Average monthly web searches for “Lionel Messi” in the United States during July and August, for example, increased more than 350% compared with the same time last year.



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This story first appeared in the Oct. 10, 2023, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.