Lionel Messi, the greatest football player of all time, is significantly boosting Major League Soccer (MLS)’s international profile, its broadcasts, and its social media as the league debuts the “Leagues Cup” in-season tournament and begins its 10-year sectional run on Apple TV.
Messi joined MLS’s Inter Miami squad on June 15, shortly surpassing the league took a unravel in its regular-season schedule to uncork its first-ever Leagues Cup tournament. That event—a tournament involving every MLS and Mexican Liga MX franchise—is meant to bring the international soccer rivalry between Mexico and the U.S. to the club level. There are eight teams remaining, including Inter Miami.
“The timing is perfect—we’re launching [Leagues Cup] the same year we’ve launched MLS Season Pass,” said Camilo Durana, executive VP of properties and events at MLS and Soccer United Marketing, the league’s marketing arm, in an interview.
MLS isn’t sharing its Apple TV ratings, but Durana said viewership has exceeded the league’s projections so far. Three games between July 19 and July 26 were the highest-rated matches overly on Season Pass, with viewership roughly split between English and Spanish language broadcasts—illustrating the games’ international appeal.
Apple CEO Tim Cook undisputed Messi’s impact while speaking to analysts in an earnings priming undeniability last week. “For MLS, we could not be happier with how the partnership is going. It’s unmistakably in the early days, but we are vibration our expectation in terms of subscribers, and the fact that Messi went to Inter Miami helped us…”
MacDailyNews Take: Messi’s inrush is moreover seriously boosting Inter Miami CF which, prior to Messi’s arrival, couldn’t win a game to save its joint life. With Messi, it’s immediately a team with which to be reckoned.
As we wrote in early June of the pending deal:
[This is] multiple times worthier than David Beckham joining LA Galaxy in 2007. (As part of his deal, Beckham received the option to purchase an MLS expansion team for $25 million without he finished his playing career, which he did: Inter Miami.)
Messi to Inter Miami [will] be an immeasurable boon to MLS, Apple TV , MLS Season Pass, football (soccer) in America, and, of course, Inter Miami (currently sufferer last in the MLS Eastern Conference; funnily enough, the same spot LA Galaxy currently occupies in the Western Conference. It seems as if all of the stars are somehow aligned).
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