When Paris Saint-Germain brought in Lionel Messi this past summer following his unexpected departure from FC Barcelona, they knew their stores had to prepare for the high demand for Messi merchandise and the attraction of new sponsors that will flock to PSG.
Marc Armstrong, the director of sponsorship for the capital club, spoke to Marca about the impact of the arrival of the Argentine forward on the Ligue 1 side when it comes to the sports business side.
Armstrong confirmed that kit sales are up between 30-percent and 40-percent; furthermore, the executive told the Spanish media outlet that they cannot keep up with the demand for Messi jerseys.
“Yes, the demand has grown between 30 and 40%, and what can really stop it is the offer. When a transfer of this magnitude happens, Ronaldo to United, for example, you might think that they are going to pay him by selling shirts, but that is not the case. You can’t overproduce a bunch of t-shirts,” Armstrong said.
“The agreement is set to guarantee very important minimums, but we cannot meet the demand for Messi shirts. We have reached the ceiling. No one can meet that demand. We are already selling many jerseys, more than perhaps any other team in the world for one player, and that puts us at the next level. We have a lot of demand for lifestyle products, the revenue with the Jordan brand is huge, but the demand grows even more when you sign a player like Messi.”
The 34-year-old will be in the French capital for at least another season; there’s an option for a third. Nonetheless, Armstrong states that Les Parisiens continue to look for new sponsors as they’re currently at 35 partnerships and are pushing to get to 40, and perhaps the lure of Messi could entice some more to jump aboard.
“We still have less than 40; there have been 35 in the last four years, and what we have done has been to replace some smaller sponsors with larger ones. We have become more of a global property than a French one. We are looking for more, but we are looking for many more because we want to serve you well and have your space within your area to operate,” Armstrong said.
“More than the number, we must assess the brand and the importance of the agreement because finances in the club can be the beginning or the end. You have to look for innovative and future brands, bigger brands, for sure. We were the first to partner with Socios to create Fan Token (a PSG virtual currency), one of the first clubs to reach an agreement with a cryptocurrency. We have paid part of Messi in fan tokens, we have accepted payments in tokens… so we are innovating and always looking to level up. We are definitely looking for new sponsors.”