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Lionel Messi joins MLS Inter Miami soccer team

Lionel Messi has announced that he is joining MLS team Inter Miami after declining a reported $400 million offer from the Saudi Arabian government to play in their league. Yahoo Finance Live breaks down how the move has skyrocketed MLS ticket prices.

Transcripción del video

- We'll switch over to a player that people are definitely excited about, right? And we'll build up the hype from someone that always wears shorts. So Lionel Messi--

- That's a good pivot. Good pivot.

- The soccer player for Argentina saying that he's going to come to the MLS and play for Miami. That's spurring a reportedly $400 million offer from the Saudis, actually, to go over to their league. Now, this deal is not yet official.

PUBLICIDAD

But what's been interesting to watch is the overall hype, what you're seeing in MLS, which is, of course now streamed on Apple TV+. And we've been sort of watching it through that lens as well.

Interesting to look at ticket prices today. So Miami is scheduled to come to New York in August when they play the Red Bulls. Tickets are going to be $430 to get in when Miami comes, when Lionel Messi's here. If you were to go a week earlier--

- $20?

- $25. That's the Messi effect in two simple numbers of what he could do for MLS.

- But will it last?

- I don't know. You don't know. He has to play well, right? Because that's sort of the thing here is he needs to still be electrifying. But Messi has been that kind of soccer player that can have one moment, score a great goal, and get people in. So I do think they could have that player.

- And he's had an amazing career, but he is 35 years old. And that sort of raises the question about why he took this package over the money that the Saudis threw, right? I mean, can we talk a bit about that, some of the sweeteners that were put in, the brand partnerships, potentially?

- "The Athletic's" reporting that Apple's actually giving him some of the revenue that they're getting from the deal, which would be very interesting.

- And then potential ownership after he retires.

- Right.

- And there's also a potential sweetener from Adidas to come over here too, which is interesting, because Adidas really likes their MLS partnership. And I think Adidas also wants maybe a better facing person to lead their partnerships in the US because the last one didn't go so well. So maybe Messi can help them out with becoming popular in the US again.

- I think Apple is interesting because I do think it's going to drive those subscriptions to Apple TV+. Apple, of course, signing that 10-year-long pact with the MLS, Major League Soccer. And they've really been leaning into the fact that they are the streamer where you want to watch soccer, whether it's real life or whether it's fictional with "Ted Lasso."

And even "Ted Lasso" has featured real life soccer players. Messi's manager was featured on an episode. So they've sort of created this whole brand around soccer. And I certainly think it's going to help drive subscriptions.

- I think it's going to help drive subscriptions. But I think to the degree how much is the big question here because soccer has gone through many iterations. There was so much excitement when David Beckham came over. That fizzled out pretty quickly. There's obviously a lot of excitement surrounding Messi.

Will we still be talking about it? Will we still see anything like those numbers that we just put up there, over $400 for a ticket? Probably not next year.

- But I think it will help Apple when you think about what Messi is in Argentina, think about the videos we were showing of Messi after they won that World Cup, how excited the people were. I mean, you look at Inter Miami's Instagram followers. They went from 1 million to 5 million instantly, overnight.

- Wow, that is crazy.

- If you can do that and you can draw massive mass appeal globally because people just want to watch Messi as long as he is playing, I think it might be bigger than we can fully understand here in the US because, quite frankly, soccer just isn't that big. It's not at that level.

- At what point does MLS become a league that athletes come to at their prime, not at the end of their career?

- Well, that's a larger discussion that I don't know if they're ready for that yet.

- Baby, steps, Akiko, baby steps.

[LAUGHTER]

All right, guys, I've got to leave it there.