Lionel Messi’s deal is just the first of many to have corporate backing

When Lionel Messi pitched up at Inter Miami it was a seismic shock for many.

With so much still left to give the beautiful game, it would’ve been no surprise to see him back at Barcelona this season, and he’s believed to have intimated in recent interviews that returning to the club was indeed his preference.

He had other offers on the table but chose to take that one that brought him to MLS and to David Beckham’s side – a real coup for the former Man United No.7.

Messi deal will soon be replicated

The deal is unlikely to have been possible without the help of commercial partners, believed to be Adidas, who sponsor Messi as well as provide the kits for a number of MLS teams, and Apple, who own the exclusive rights to show the games via Apple TV.

For those football fans scratching their heads and wondering how companies can possibly be involved with a club signing a player, former super agent and co-creator of the Premier League, Jon Smith, believes it’s only a matter of time before a similar thing happens in Europe.

Lionel Messi with Inter Miami

“Adidas and Apple helped MLS and Inter Miami to sign Lionel Messi, and I think we’ve just got to have a look at the music business as an example of whether the same can happen in Europe,” he said for his exclusive column with CaughtOffside.

“The major corporations now cross pollinate all the major acts. Sponsorships are very often IT led so that there is a visual download activity around not just ticketing, but the actual sponsorship in the event itself.

“Football is going to go the same way because football is the biggest followed sport in the world.

“The biggest players are now nations, which means that the major corporations will join in that support. It’s bound to happen.”

Clearly, there needs to be a boundary in terms of what corporate partners are allowed to influence and what they’re not, but Smith doesn’t see an issue.

In future most deals could look like the one agreed for Messi

“As long as the rights owners, which are the clubs and the leagues, have the ability to dictate the circumstances, rather than the brands and the countries telling people how to play their game and how to influence what happens on the pitch, there isn’t going to be a problem,” he added.

“The big fear for I guess all of us who don’t like domination in our life, is that the people with the big money, which are the huge hedge funds, the countries and the major brands, will be able to effectively run the planet in 20 years because they’ll have the IT behind them.

“They’ll have the data that they’re absorbing and they’ll have the ability to dictate what you think and what you should do. All of that is a society problem but football, as we’ve said before in this column, reflects society.”

With transfer fees still continuing to sky rocket and some players seemingly out of reach for many clubs, the notion that they may be able to involve others to sweeten any deal could potentially be a game changer for many.

Source link

About Author