Indeed, since Leo Messi’s name graced the back of Inter Miami jerseys, they’ve become the hottest commodity in MLS and global soccer merchandising. Yet, an unlikely competitor outsells the soccer superstar: Jalen Hurts, the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Messi’s move to Miami created a commercial frenzy. Match tickets and related merchandise, particularly those linked to coach Tata Martino, witnessed a surge in demand, shattering previous sales records. The launch of Messi-branded apparel was a defining moment, with 700,000 units flying off the shelves within 48 hours.
Jalen Hurts: America’s Top Jersey Seller
However, Jalen Hurts’ merchandise numbers eclipse even Messi’s impressive stats. As of July this year, the young QB has had more jerseys sold than not just Messi but also NFL heavyweights like Aaron Rodgers, Dak Prescott, and Patrick Mahomes. At a mere 25, Hurts boasts a Super Bowl appearance, was in contention for the coveted season MVP title, and secured a contract extension through 2028.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Market Stir
While Cristiano Ronaldo’s foray into the Saudi Arabian league with Al-Nassr made waves, it didn’t match Messi’s market impact. Ronaldo’s jersey sales recorded a respectable 122,000 units, a figure bolstered by strategic marketing efforts by his club in partnership with Adidas, as outlined by Euromericas Sports Marketing’s CEO. The success was so overwhelming that it crashed the club’s official website for 12 hours, with expectations of hitting one million sales rapidly approaching.
Anticipation for the 2023 Ballon d’Or Ceremony
As for the 2023 Ballon d’Or, the soccer world is abuzz. This accolade, rewarding the standout player of the 2022/23 season, often earmarks its recipient as the planet’s premier footballer.
The historical tally sees Messi leading with seven titles, closely followed by Ronaldo’s five. Between them, they’ve monopolized the award, featuring in the top three contenders 25 times since 2007.
For the upcoming ceremony, slated for October 30th, Messi is the frontrunner for his eighth title, a nod to his phenomenal season with his club and triumphant FIFA World Cup run with Argentina. He notched seven goals and three assists during the Qatar-hosted event, earning five ‘man of the match’ titles, and helped secure Argentina’s first World Cup since 1986.
The only perceived threat to Messi’s crowning is Manchester City’s dynamo, Erling Haaland, setting the stage for a highly anticipated award ceremony.