The Messi effect draws sponsors to PSG

Paris, Jan 14 (EFE).- In the five months since Lionel Messi’s astonishing move to Paris Saint-Germain, the Argentine star has scored six and provided five assists but, off the pitch, his commercial performance has arguably had a bigger impact on the club.

The superstar has drawn in eight new sponsorship deals for PSG and he has had an important role in convincing some of the team’s other big-hitters to stay put.

At 34, the seven-time Ballon D’Or winner retains his status as a magnet for business and his 80-million-euro price tag — 40 million in salary, the rest in bonuses and taxes — has practically been written off.

Marc Armstrong, PSG’s chief partnership officer, told Efe that he expected the revenue figures in 2021 to be 10% higher compared to those in 2020.

PSG’s revenues have grown at an average rate of 20% per year since the state-run Qatar Sports Investments fund bought the club in 2011.

Armstrong added that Messi’s influence helped the club’s transfer strategy. His presence at the Parc des Princes helped lure the likes of Gianluigi Donnarumma and Achraf Hakimi while it also played a factor in Kylian Mbappe’s decision to stay in the French capital, at least for another year.

When it comes to signing players, PSG doesn’t pull its punches. The club has forked out more than 1.4 billion euros in since the Qatari owners took over.

The club’s financial model has also evolved over the years, and is now less dependent on TV rights and more focused on sponsorship deals and product sales, which in 2020 — the latest data available — brought in 235 million euros, 54% of its revenue excluding player transfers. It is set to be even higher for 2021.

Since Messi signed his contract on August 10, 2021, eight new commercial partners from a variety of industries have joined up with PSG.

These are fashion house Dior, car sales platform Autohero, cryptocurrency site, delivery service Gorillas, health juice firm Smart Good Things, energy company Volt, soft drink maker Big Cola and water company Sports Water.

PSG’s principal sponsors are Nike-Jordan and hotel company Accor.

Nike has a 75-million-euro contract to provide PSG’s official clothing, including the match kit, until 2032 while Accor’s 65-million-euro sponsorship deal is due to expire in 2023.

Sport marketing specialist Vincent Chaudel said in comments to Efe that PSG had drummed up an additional 15 million followers on social media since Messi signed his contract, which boosts its attractiveness for the other commercial deals.

Messi’s name has also helped shirt sales, estimated at one million units according to market sources consulted by Efe, up by 30 to 40% compared to recent years. EFE


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