In addition to income from sponsorship, FC Barcelona annually receives a significant amount from merchandising sales, with T-shirts being the most demanded item in retail. According to data from Euromericas Sport Marketing, in 2020, the year of a pandemic Belarus Email List, 860,000 Barcelona club shirts were sold, a figure much lower than the 3.63 million units that were marketed in 2018 and which were a milestone in this game. In either of the two exercises, the elastic bands with Messi’s ’10’ represented 80% of sales and no other player in the world sells so many garments with his name on it.
In this sense, Carlos Canto cites the Athlete Marketable Potentially Index, an index that shows which are the athletes with the best image and who are more susceptible to marketing actions. This research, collected in the latest SPSG Consulting Sports Sponsorship Barometer, places Messi as the most important figure, ahead of Roger Federer or Cristiano Ronaldo.
So much is the value of Messi’s brand at FC Barcelona that the amount the club receives on summer tours and friendlies depends on the presence or absence of the Argentine player. The absence of him is penalized with percentages ranging from 10 to 20% of the amount. The best example is found in the pre-season planning in 2019, when Zenit de Saint Petersburg suspended a match where the Argentine was not going to be.
“There are some brands that were waiting to renew or sign with FC Barcelona, waiting to see if Messi was on the squad or not,” says Canto, who adds other sections in which the player’s abandonment will have effects. “This is the case of licensing, because at the level of signing an agreement with some flagship stores or some thematic area, not being able to count on Messi will logically have a negative effect. The same happens with the academies or campuses that FC Barcelona has around the world. If you have a son, you now have a huge variety of options, but Messi can be a decisive factor in your choice, unless Barça win many titles. I repeat, sporting successes can alleviate the consequences ”, adds the CEO of SPSG Consulting.
Likewise, Carlos Canto recalls the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid in 2018 and how that influenced the balance sheets and brand of the white club. The last two years, marked by the pandemic, do not allow a detailed X-ray, but the immediate effects were the decrease in merchandising sales and the renegotiation of several sponsorship contracts, although the financial health of the white club is better than that of the FC Barcelona and has just closed a last year with a surplus of 874,000 euros despite the loss of income derived from the pandemic quantified at more than 300 million euros.
Regarding the consequences of Ronaldo’s departure, Javier Tebas went so far as to affirm in an interview with RAC1 that “the impact was almost nil” and in this same conversation in June 2020 he said that a possible departure of Messi would have important effects. A statement made in a context in which the player had not yet starred in the burofax episode that ended with his first departure from FC Barcelona last summer.
LaLiga, pending the renewal of television rights
And it is that the departure of Messi is a hard setback also for LaLiga, which hours before the FC Barcelona statement presented the so-called Impulse Plan, endowed with 2,700 million euros, with which it intends to clean up Spanish clubs and which has been signed with the capital fund CVC. This will receive 10% of the business in exchange for the monetary injection, which some indicated could facilitate the registration of Leo Messi by FC Barcelona, an entity to which approximately 250 million would correspond. But as with the question of the salary limit, the distribution of funds from the LaLiga Impulse Plan is clear: only the 15% that each club receives may be used to increase the salary limit or to signings.
It also remains to be seen whether the absence of Messi could delay or change the terms of the LaLiga agreement with CVC, against which FC Bacelona and Real Madrid have positioned themselves and against which other clubs such as Athletic Club have reluctance. “This plan may lose steam now, but it is a real oxygen balloon for many clubs, which also has a varied but well-specified destination, with the aim of reducing debt, improving infrastructure or easing the pressure of compliance with the salary limit. ”, Declares to Reason.Why Carles Murillo, President of the Spanish Society for Sports Economics, who emphasizes the fact that 10.95% of the business will go to CVC, the issue most criticized by the two big clubs socialposts.