With Lionel Messi’s Miami Move, adidas Foresees a Soccer Renaissance in North America

July 24, 2023
2 mins read
adidas Welcomes Lionel Messi to Miami
© Photo: adidas
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A radiant wave is cresting on the shores of North America, stoked by the magic of Lionel Messi and the iconic brand adidas. As Messi sets his boots on the sandy beaches of Miami, adidas marshals its resources to celebrate the event, infusing life into the evolving soccer culture that is rapidly permeating the continent.

On a shimmering Thursday morning, adidas organized a media event that sparked with excitement. The air was heavy with enthusiasm for the football icon, Lionel Messi, who had recently joined Inter Miami. Executives from adidas hummed with anticipation, envisioning a soccer-filled summer that would set the cash registers ringing. But while the atmosphere was thick with promises, the actual statistics remain elusive. The show served as a curtain-raiser for the first-half earnings call of adidas, scheduled for the third of August.

Under the Miami sun, Messi was the cynosure in an adidas jersey, a striking ensemble of black and pink. Rupert Campbell, adidas North America president, greeted the audience with a montage of the brand’s grand welcome of Messi to his new MLS (Major League Soccer) home city. As Messi’s iconic images imprinted on shipping containers graced the barges, sleek boats in adidas’ colors zipped through the water below, an enthralling sight to behold.

However, adidas’ love for soccer isn’t confined to Messi. It trickles down to aspiring talents like Chloe Ricketts and Mia Bhuta, and seeps into programs like the “Just Ball League,” which brings the beautiful game to the middle schoolers of New York, Los Angeles, and now Miami. Adidas’s alliance with MLS continues to strengthen, and the brand’s involvement with the 2026 men’s World Cup is already in the works.


Campbell shared, “What’s happening this week aligns closely with our North American business strategy, which is doubling down on sport and combining it with culture and style.” His words echoed the brand’s vision as the event concluded with a riveting Q&A session with soccer legend and fellow Adidas athlete, David Beckham.

adidas Welcomes Lionel Messi to Miami
© Photo: adidas

Now co-owner of Inter Miami, Beckham was effervescent about Lionel Messi’s first MLS game. “This is the moment that this game changes in America… the eyes of the world are now on Miami, MLS, and soccer,” Beckham declared. He revealed that Messi’s Inter Miami introduction commanded a staggering 3.5 billion views, speaking volumes about the mounting interest in soccer.

With Messi mania running high, the demand for his adidas Inter Miami jerseys has skyrocketed. To accommodate the surge, adidas, with its two standalone stores, introduced a pop-up store in Miami. While Campbell was mum on the sales figures, he hinted at how Messi merchandise had been flying off the shelves. To further amplify the Messi excitement, Adidas declared a Lionel Messi day at its Portland, Oregon, headquarters, and its distribution center.

Reflecting on Lionel Messi’s impact, Tor Southard, adidas North America’s senior director of soccer, noted, “Kids in south Florida and in other parts of the country will be inspired to play soccer when they otherwise would not have.” He cited Messi’s arrival, the WWC, the Copa América, and the upcoming 2026 FIFA men’s world cup as catalysts for a tremendous growth in both the sport and the adidas brand.

While the past paints a somewhat subdued picture of sales impact, the adidas team is fervent about the potential of the Women’s World Cup and the 2026 men’s edition to cast a halo effect on the brand. The brand’s revenue narrative thus far may not match their enthusiasm, but the Messi magic could yet weave a different tale. After all, as Christine Miller-Sheehan, vice president of communications and brand planning pointed out, soccer is not only a sport, it is fashion, with celebrities like Hailey Bieber, Kendrick Lamar, and Jennifer Lawrence sporting soccer jerseys.

Thus, as Messi dawns his adidas armor in Miami, a new chapter in North American soccer begins, marked by unprecedented excitement, a resounding promise of growth, and an indomitable spirit of the game.

Click on this link to read this article in French version

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