The Billionaire Who Convinced Messi To Join A “Bottom-Of-The-Barrel” Team

Billionaire Who Convinced Messi To Join A "Bottom-Of-The-Barrel" Team

Construction executive Jorge Mas, backed by tech giant Apple Inc., has successfully convinced soccer superstar Lionel Messi to join his struggling Miami team. Their ambitious partnership aims to revolutionize the US soccer industry and maximize financial gains. Departing from traditional player contracts, Mas has employed Wall Street-inspired strategies, offering Messi revenue-sharing arrangements and an equity stake in Inter Miami. With Messi’s global appeal expected to attract millions of new subscribers to Apple TV+ and drive ticket and merchandise sales, Mas’s visionary plan holds the potential to ignite a wave of enthusiasm for soccer across the nation, securing its place in American sports culture.

Mas thinks Messi’s presence will recruit great players to Major League Soccer and bring millions of additional users to Apple TV+. Messi will receive a share of the increased international accounts for Apple TV+, while Mas’s Inter Miami soccer club stands to benefit from higher ticket and merchandise sales. Mas hopes that the hype around Messi will also benefit the rest of the league.

Lionel Messi

However, this endeavor carries significant risk, as it heavily relies on an aging player who has had a remarkable career but is now approaching the later stages of his profession. Messi’s move follows a trend of aging soccer champions coming to the US, with mixed results in terms of boosting the popularity of US soccer.

Mas is a patient man and has spent over three years bringing Messi to Miami. Part of his pitch included highlighting the opportunities in Florida, where soccer is growing, and where Messi could have a transformative impact on the sport. Financial incentives also played a significant role, with Messi’s contract including a base salary of $20 million per year, bonuses that could reach $60 million, and a minority stake in the team upon retirement.

Messi also has endorsement deals with Adidas AG and a unique arrangement with Apple TV+ that benefits him if the streaming service attracts international subscribers. Mas predicts that Messi could bring in two million overseas accounts within 18 months, emphasizing that Messi’s global impact is unparalleled in the US.

The exact value of Messi’s Miami package is yet to be determined, but it was substantial enough to entice him away from a more straightforward offer from Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal. While Apple TV+ has made a $2.5 billion 10-year deal with Major League Soccer, including broadcasting games on its platform, it is unclear how much Messi’s presence will contribute to this arrangement.

Jorge Mas, the son of a Cuban immigrant, became a soccer tycoon unexpectedly. His family’s fortune comes from MasTec Inc., a company that constructs pipelines, fiber-optic networks, and wind farms across the US. After a failed attempt to purchase the Miami Marlins, Mas acquired Beckham’s partners at Inter Miami and now owns 80% of the team. He believes that Messi’s addition to the team could increase its value to $1.5 billion within a year.

To support the team’s growth, Mas plans to bring in a new investment partner and jersey sponsor. He has also hired former Barcelona and Argentina coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino and midfielder Sergio Busquets. Inter Miami’s strategy involves combining late-career stars with young up-and-coming players.

Construction will soon commence on Inter Miami’s new Freedom Park stadium, expected to seat up to 25,000 fans. The privately-funded project’s costs have risen nearly 40% from the original $1 billion estimate. It is scheduled to be completed in 2025, coinciding with the last year of Messi’s contract. Mas hopes that Messi will continue playing for the team beyond that point.

Overall, Mas is thrilled about Messi’s arrival and the potential it holds for Inter Miami. Despite challenges and uncertainties, he remains confident that this ambitious venture will pay off and elevate US soccer to new heights.

For all the latest news, keep visiting The World News.