Lionel Messi reportedly brought Apple’s MLS Season Pass a major spike in subscriptions in July after the legendary player moved to the Inter Miami CF soccer team.
Out of all the U.S. subscriptions that MLS Season Pass received since becoming available on Apple TV, 46% of them started in July, according to subscription analytics company Antenna.
Inter Miami CF revealed it would add Messi to its lineup of players in mid-July. The forward came to the Fort Lauderdale-based team after a two-season stint with Paris Saint-Germain.
Messi took the field with Inter Miami for the first time during a July 21 game, a 2-1 win over Cruz Azul.
MLS Season Pass recorded a total of 110,000 sign-ups in the U.S. on that date, according to Antenna. The subscription analytics company pegged that amount as more than 280% higher than those on the league’s season start date.
FOX Business reached out to Apple for comment.
Apple’s MLS Season Pass made its debut at the beginning of February, more than seven months after the tech giant revealed it had reached an exclusive deal with the league that would span a decade. The MLS season kicking off near the end of that month led to just 15% of the soccer subscription’s cumulative U.S. sign-ups, according to Antenna.
More than 100 countries and regions have access to the soccer streaming service, according to an Apple press release.
For the U.S., 15% of people who joined MLS Season Pass "subscribed or resubscribed" to Apple TV+ "at the same time or some time after signing-up," Antenna reported. Meanwhile, preexisting Apple TV+ members made up 48% of MLS Season Pass holders, and 37% of them remain without a subscription to the company’s streaming service, according to the firm.
Apple TV+ has been around for nearly four years. In August, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company was "focused on original content" with Apple TV+, adding, "And so we’re all about giving great storytellers the venue to tell great stories and hopefully get us all to think a little deeper."
"Sport is a part of that because sport is the ultimate original story," he continued. "And for MLS, we could not be happier with how the partnership is going. It’s clearly early days, but we are beating our expectations in terms of subscribers, and the fact that Messi went to Inter Miami helped us out there a bit."
Messi has suited up for 11 games with Inter Miami so far, racking up 11 goals, Fox Sports reported. The team’s next game is slated for Saturday at its home venue of DRV PNK Stadium, where Messi and his teammates will play Sporting Kansas City.