Friday September 22, 2023
The Best Employers in Sports Survey is Now Open!

Soccer Manufacturers, Retailers Struggling to Keep Up With Messi Mania

  • One soccer retailer said it sold out six months of Inter Miami stock — including blank jerseys — in 24 hours.
  • Adidas is rushing to get Messi jerseys shipped as soon as possible.
Lionel Messi merchandise seen before the Inter Miami FC forward is introduced at The Unveil event and press conference at DRV PNK Stadium.
Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports
Front Office Sports Today

Could Promotion-Relegation work in College Football?

The proposal aims to create an exciting media product while reducing travel for non-football sports.
Listen Now
September 21, 2023 | Podcast
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

Lionel Messi’s historic signing and upcoming debut with Inter Miami has fans clamoring to own a piece of black and pink memorabilia to rep the all-time great player. It’s creating a huge headache for merchandise manufacturers and sellers.

“Demand for the jersey has been truly unprecedented,” Adidas senior director of soccer Tor Southard told media on Thursday. “I’ve been with the brand for a long time, and I’ve never seen our brand mobilize around a project across so many functions to bring product to market so quickly.”

Though the German sportswear supplier is doing all it can to meet the legions of Messi supporters, the supply chain takes time.

Messi Adds Bonus Value To Apple’s $2.5B Rights Deal

Apple agreed to share some revenue with Messi.
July 20, 2023

Billy Lalor — senior director of merchandising at Sports Endeavors, which owns retailer — says that a product like this would typically take six months to manufacture and send to market, but Adidas is speeding up the process to get it delivered in three months. Consumers who order a Messi jersey — replica or authentic — now can expect to receive it in mid-October.

“The backorder situation is a result of the time needed to meet demand that is 25 times greater than it otherwise would have been had Messi not moved to Inter Miami,” Lalor told Front Office Sports.

Even Adidas can’t keep up: It is currently only preselling the jersey in its app — a clever ploy for downloads.

“Our goal is simple: Every single fan who wants a jersey should be able to get a jersey,” says Southard.

Ultimately, it’s a great problem to have and is creating more business opportunities in the interim.

Lalor says that Sports Endeavors sold out six months of Inter Miami stock — including blank jerseys — in 24 hours; a lucky few may have been able to make a custom Messi shirt before the supply disappeared.

Messi Revenue Opportunities Only Just Beginning Throughout MLS

Messi’s move to Inter Miami is boosting revenue across MLS.
June 8, 2023

It forced the company “to scramble to figure out how much more to get and when we could get it,” including some quick-turn, Miami-themed Messi T-shirts created by Adidas.

The brand itself has set up a pop-up shop in Miami to exclusively sell Messi merchandise — though that too could sell out ahead of the GOAT’s Friday debut.

Even if it takes time, Messi’s move away from Europe’s Big Five — a usual best-seller for retailers — should pay off in the long run.

“This will surely have a positive effect on our bottom line,” Lalor says. “We will lose some sales from his former team, Paris Saint-Germain, but those will be more than offset by the increases in sales of Inter Miami and all MLS teams. Our margins on all of these products are similar, so the bottom-line increase comes from the top-line sales increase.”

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Adidas CEO Stands Behind Ye Nearly Year After Brand Cut Ties

Gulden's comments mark rare and surprising corporate move
USL Championship side Oakland Roots home soccer field

As Sports Teams Exit Bay Area, Pro Soccer Gains Notable Win

The USL club Oakland Roots could be close to building a new stadium.
Spain women's national soccer team players celebrate with the World Cup trophy after their victory in the 2023 Women's World Cup.

Spain Women’s Soccer Players Agree to End National Team Boycott

The RFEF will make “immediate and profound” changes to its structure.
Oakland Roots midfielder Joseph Nane (4) and Phoenix Rising midfielder Carlos Harvey (67) fight for possession during a game on Pride Night at Phoenix Rising Stadium.

With A's Leaving Coliseum, Oakland Mulls Soccer Team's Plan

The Oakland Roots want to build a temporary 10,000-seat stadium.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Could Promotion-Relegation work in College Football?


Featured Today

Teams without secured venue situations could be left out of a potential XFL-USFL merger.

XFL-USFL Merger Could Drop Teams, Change League Name

Teams without secured venues could be cut from a XFL-USFL merger.
September 21, 2023

Rupert Murdoch's Exit Leaves Lasting Fox Sports Legacy

Rupert Murdoch steps down as chairman of Fox Corp. and News Corp.
Could ESPN lose events such as the NBA Finals if it sold ABC.
September 21, 2023

Selling ABC Poses Billion-Dollar Dilemma for Disney and ESPN's Future

Losing ABC would create complications as ESPN enters NBA rights negotiations.
Boise State Broncos running back Ashton Jeanty (2) runs the ball against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks during the first half at Albertsons Stadium.
September 20, 2023

The First Official Proposal for Promotion-Relegation In College Football

Realignment is forcing Group of 5 schools to rethink their structure.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Chicago Cubs
New York
Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, Inc.
USA - Multiple Locations
Amer Sports, the parent company of Wilson Sporting Goods and Louisville Slugger, has filed for an IPO according to Bloomberg.

IPO Could Reportedly Value Wilson Parent at $10 Billion

The NFL, NBA, NCAA, and U.S. Open tennis use Wilson game balls.
Foot Locker's Q1 sales dropped 11.4%.
August 23, 2023

Sports Retailers, Brands Struggle As Consumer Habits Shift

Foot Locker and Peloton are seeing their stock prices dip.
August 22, 2023

Dick’s Sporting Goods Reports Worst Post-Pandemic Earnings

The company missed Wall Street’s earnings expectations badly.
August 3, 2023

Adidas’ Bottom Line Gains Big Boost From Yeezy Sales

Closeout sales of discontinued stock provide significant revenue lift
July 30, 2023

Billion-Dollar Mini-Cities Becoming Top Priority For Stadium Projects

Cleveland is the latest city to explore vast development.
Colombia's goalkeeper punches the ball away during a match with South Korea at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.
July 28, 2023

Nike Outselling Adidas at Women’s World Cup

Nike has sold out 17% of its 2023 Women's World Cup merchandise.
Adidas Yeezy shoes on a shelf.
July 24, 2023

Yeezy Buyers Bail Out Adidas By Snapping Up Leftover Inventory

Adidas has received welcome economic news after cutting ties with Ye
NoBull was valued at $500 million and received investment from the NFL.
July 20, 2023

BodyArmor Founder Acquires Majority Stake In NOBULL

NOBULL was valued at $500 million in 2021.