Lionel Messi’s MLS Miami Move Is a Massive Score for Adidas

An analyst says the German sportswear company could see its shares rise 30%

Lionel Messi warms up before a French league soccer match.
Lionel Messi is taking his talents to South Beach.
Ibrahim Ezzat/Anadolu Agency via Getty

After cutting ties with Kanye West in the wake of his wide range of hateful comments and actions, Adidas reported $441 million in lost sales at the start of 2023 and then proceeded to see its sales decline by 1% in the first quarter. While Adidas is not going to make up for that deficit with the profits of selling $1.3 billion worth of unsold Yeezy sneakers (those proceeds will go to social justice organizations it was announced last month), the German sportswear company may have another way to improve its bottom line — significantly.

In addition to causing Inter Miami’s ticket prices to jump by more than 1,000% and boosting the Major League Soccer franchise’s Instagram following past the likes of the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys, Lionel Messi’s decision to spurn $1.5 billion of Saudi Arabian money to join MLS should be a huge boost for Adidas and its stockholders.

According to Bernstein analysts, Messi’s migration to Miami has moved Adidas’ shares from a “hold” to a “buy” and increased the price target for a piece of the German apparel giant by 23% from $86 a share to $112. Per Forbes, Bernstein analysts project Adidas stock to jump by as much as 30% to hit a 14-month high and for the company to add about $10 billion to its market value.

Fabulously Wealthy Soccer Team Wins Everything
Manchester City just won the Champions League. What now?

The apparel giant wasted no time in attempting to cash in on Messi and welcomed visitors to its website with the message “Bienvenido A Miami,” alongside a new collection commemorating the move to the U.S. with the latest Inter Miami CF gear and accessories.

Adidas, which sponsors MLS and Inter Miami celebrity co-owner David Beckham in addition to Messi himself, gave the Argentinean soccer superstar a lifetime footwear sponsorship deal with the company in 2017. To entice Messi to come to the U.S., Adidas also offered him a profit-sharing agreement that will give him a cut of any increase in company profits resulting from his involvement in MLS, per The Athletic. It has also been reported that Messi will get a similar deal from Apple and receive a share of the revenue generated by new subscribers to MLS Season Pass, the league’s streaming package on Apple TV+.

Messi’s debut for Inter Miami may come as soon as July 21 in a Leagues Cup match against Cruz Azul in Miami. After that date, Inter Miami has matches in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Orlando, Chicago and Charlotte. Until it is official when and where Messi will take the pitch for his new team, expect tickets for those matches to reside in Taylor Swift territory.

Win the Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix Experience

Want the F1 experience of a lifetime? Here’s your chance to win tickets to see Turn 18 Grandstand, one of Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix’s most premier grandstands!