IN HIS first year at Paris Saint-Germain, it appears Lionel Messi was more influential off the pitch than he was on it.
However, Messi’s first season in Paris didn’t exactly go to plan.
Despite the legendary Argentine picked up a Ligue 1 winners medal, PSG failed to win the Champions League and Messi managed just 11 goals across all competitions.
Messi was widely criticised for struggling to adapt to life in France but it didn’t stop sponsors and fans lining PSG’s pockets as a result of his arrival.
According to sensation reports at Marca, PSG made an eye-watering £610MILLION as a result of Messi’s arrival.
Messi’s transfer alone secured up to TEN new sponsors.
And the fees for the sponsorships rose from around £2.6m to £6.9m.
Some of the sponsors are well-known brands such as Dior, Gorillas, Crypto.com, PlayBetR, GOAT, Snart Good Thins, Volt, Big Cola, Sports Water and Autohero, the report states.
Messi shirts were also in high demand with the football icon taking up 60-per-cent of PSG sales.
PSG sold more than one million shirts, with prices ranging from £79 to £140 EACH.
Marc Armstrong, PSG’s business director, explained the club “can’t satisfy all the demand for Messi shirts”.
He said: “The demand has grown between 30 percent and 40 percent and all that can slow it down is the supply.
“When one of these transfers takes place, people think that it is paid for by selling shirts, and it’s not quite like that.
“You can’t produce a lot of extra shirts.
“The deal is made to cover a minimum, which is very important, but you can’t satisfy all the demand for Messi shirts.”
Messi’s influence stretches far beyond finances as well.
The attacker played a major role on PSG’s social media platforms exploding with new followers.
PSG generated more than 15m followers across all platforms – reaching a grand total of 150m.
Business director Armstrong says PSG gained 1.4m followers per week and also smashed the 10m-mark on TikTok.
Messi’s form returning this season could generate the French champions more money.
He has six goals and eight assists across all competitions this term, despite the season only starting in August.
Messi’s form could also play a role in finally delivering a record first Champions League trophy to the Parc des Princes.