Paris Saint-Germain sold out of Lionel Messi shirts in just seven minutes on the night that the six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s move to the French was confirmed earlier this week.
Messi left Barcelona after La Liga’s salary cap regulations prevented the club from registering a new contract and was quickly on his way to Paris to sign a two-year deal.
Messi opted for the number 30 shirt at PSG as opposed to his usual number 10, even though friend and former Barça colleague Neymar is thought to have offer it to him, with 30 a throwback to his earliest years as a professional more than 15 years ago.
On the pitch, Messi hopes to guide PSG to the elusive Champions League title they crave, but off it, his arrival in Paris is also expected to have a huge influence on the club in terms of far greater commercial reach and new sponsorship opportunities.
The appetite for Messi as a PSG player is clearly enormous and they stand to benefit significantly over the next couple of years by monetising his name to further grow their own brand and revenue.
Speaking on CNBC, football finance expert Kieran Maguire explained that PSG made 150,000 shirts available for sale at 11pm local time (10pm in the UK) and had sold out just seven minutes later.
It is a common myth that shirt sales alone will pay transfer fees (if applicable) and/or wages, but the increased commercial opportunities and interest that Messi brings to the club very much could.