Brett Hartmann, who previously worked on Paris Saint-Germain’s business strategy in America, recalls some of his first impressions of the French club’s popularity in the United States.
“In the summer of 2018,” he explains, “we were assessing the pitch and looking at things like not being able to actually find a PSG jersey in a store in Manhattan. The merchandise was not available. At the time, we had Timothy Weah, who represents the United States Men’s National Team, so there was something to play with but we weren’t quite there. But now, with Messi, what an opportunity.
In the aftermath of Lionel Messi’s remarkable transfer to PSG, the club made an effort to stress that the cost of his contract will indeed be amortized. This, according to sources, is believed to be due to the business potential associated with the player. Their confidence echoes statements made earlier this year by Barcelona president Joan Laporta. He said that “Messi generates more income than he earns”, before adding that the club conducted a study and found not only that “Messi generates around a third of Barcelona’s total income” but that “all sponsors demand to have Leo”.
During Messi’s unveiling in Paris, PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi insisted that people would be “shocked at the numbers we have” regarding Messi’s commercial appeal. After his first fortnight of training under the direction of Mauricio Pochettino, Messi is in the running to appear for the first time in the colors of PSG in Reims on Sunday evening. It would be a reminder of his dazzling talents on the pitch but off the pitch PSG are working meticulously to maximize their time with Messi.