What Impact has Lionel Messi’s Transfer to the MLS had on American Advertising?

For many worldwide football and American soccer fans, Lionel Messi is considered a legend: one of the greatest footballers of all time. Since his transfer to the American MLS team Inter Miami, the popularity of the MLS increased tremendously as far as internet searches. Ticket prices for Inter Miami games also increased over 1000% since his arrival at the club. Before Messi joined the team, tickets could be purchased for as cheap as $25. Currently, the same tickets are over $250.

With the increase in popularity Messi has brought to the sport in the United States, he has become the face of several successful marketing campaigns ranging from sports gear, to potato chips, to the beverage world, not to mention a deal with Apple that has changed the streaming culture of Major League Soccer. 

Michelob Ultra – 2024

Superior Beach | Michelob ULTRA

In this commercial Messi orders a Michelob Ultra from a beach bar. The keg blows and the bartender asks if he would like another beer. He says, no he would like Michelob Ultra. As he’s waiting for the bartender to replace the keg, a soccer ball is kicked over from a nearby pickup game. The ad shows Messi joining the game while onlookers on the beach watch with their jaws on the floor saying “Is that Messi?” As the bar makes its way down the beach you see the bartender running with a new keg, Messi kicks the ball to a boat, and in true Miami style, it is tossed back by none other than Dan “The Man” Marino. This is a feel-good beer ad that celebrates Messi being in Miami.

Lays – The Perfect Match

Lay’s®. Messi. Soccer.

In this ad, Messi can be shown in a locker room wearing a yellow kit with the Lays logo. He opens a bag of lays and says “oh Lays” and his team begins what appears to be the classic soccer chant “olé olé olé,” but they are actually saying “o-Lay’s.” They leave the locker room, where the fans are also chanting along, wearing yellow and eating Lays and fans at home watching the game chanting along with their families. As the chants continue, Messi scores a goal and the chants and celebrations grow louder both in the stadium and at home showing how soccer and Lays can be the Perfect Match.

The Sound of Pepsi

The Sound of Pepsi | Lionel Messi GOAT | Pepsi

In this commercial, Messi is doing a meet and greet with a large group of excited fans. Many people are shouting to get his attention for a selfie. The main character is wanting to catch a glimpse of the start but is blocked by other fans’ flags and props. After a minute of trying, she spots a vending machine. She buys a Pepsi and pops the top. Instant Messi hears her, reaches for the Pepsi and says “selfie?” The idea is that the sound of a cool crispy pepsi opening can get anyone’s attention. 



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