Football fans around the world would have by now seen the news that Barcelona’s star player Lionel Messi has asked for a release.
The rumour mill is now in overdrive as commentators and pundits speculate on just where the 33-year-old Argentinian will end up next.
But the more interesting question (for non-football fans especially) is how much will it cost?
It has been reported that Messi has a release clause in his contract valued at around $1.15 billion.
And while this figure might sound absurd, it could be just a fraction of the ‘cost’ of releasing the star player for Barcelona.
For much of the past decade, Messi’s #10 Barcelona jersey has been the most sold jersey in the world – bringing in millions of dollars each year for the club and its sponsors.
Having been with Barcelona for the past two decades, Messi has helped the club become one of the most valuable sporting franchises in the world, currently with an enterprise value of $US3 billion (KPMG).
A large portion of this value can be attributed to Messi’s talent and his ability to drive ticket sales and broadcast revenue.
Nike vs adidas
Another business that sees the value in the footballer is sporting giant adidas.
In 2017, adidas and Messi inked a lifetime deal, believed to be worth around $US12 million a year.
And many suspect this affiliation will see Messi next emerge at a club that is sponsored by adidas, namely Manchester United.
Some have even speculated that adidas may contribute to his transfer fee to ensure Lionel Messi wears an adidas shirt when he plays.
Inter is a possibility and Conte just said he’s coming back maybe they know something….MLS won’t be before ‘22 World Cup unless Adidas or some other entity makes a can’t refuse offer…like Beckham to LA. https://t.co/t5sqUfmkR4
— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) August 25, 2020
Despite always wearing adidas on his feet, Messi has long displayed the Nike logo on his jersey while playing for Barcelona.
Forbes recently reported that by simply posting an image to social media of himself wearing his club’s shirt, Messi managed to generate $US111 million for Nike.
an advertiser’s dream
Off the field, Messi has managed to secure millions of dollars in free publicity for Barcelona by appearing in advertising campaigns in his playing kit.
His recent work with Gatorade illustrates this.
Just last year Mastercard shared a campaign featuring Messi alongside Neymar Jr entitled ‘Priceless‘.
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