The big news out of the global sporting world this week has been Argentinian soccer legend Lionel Messi being lured away from a $430 million offer from Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal to play in the United States for Major League Soccer team Inter Miami.
Messi is a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner who led Argentina to a stirring World Cup win in December. He's arguably approaching Michael Jordan in terms of global sports transcendental megastar status, and he's the biggest get ever in the 27-year history of the MLS, the 2007 signing by of David Beckham by the Los Angeles Galaxy included.
We haven't seen a unified MLS salary figure for Messi, but considering that the league's teams are capped at $5.21 million per season for their whole roster, the 35-year-old star's compensation portfolio needed to be diversified.
That starts with a reported 35% ownership stake in Inter Miami. But it appears to have taken a village to bring Messi to America.
According to numerous published reports, including one in The Athletic, Apple was instrumental in luring Messi to Miami, offering the player a percentage of revenue from new MLS Season Pass signups.
A year ago, Apple entered into a 10-year, $2.5 billion deal with the MLS to exclusively stream all of the league's games on the Apple TV app.
Apple also revealed earlier this week that a four-part docuseries focused on Messi will soon run on SVOD service Apple TV Plus.
Apple has never broken out subscription numbers for services including the $15-a-month MLS Season Pass, but suffice it to say that Messi's addition will likely drive signups and reduce churn.
Meanwhile, Adidas, MLS' footwear/apparel partner, reportedly has an arrangement with Messi, as well.
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!