Although Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi has yet to make his debut for MLS club Inter Miami, the city is already starting to feel the “Messi Effect.”
The term — originating from the Internet — refers to the phenomenon of anything associated with Messi seemingly turning to gold overnight. During the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the 36-year-old’s jersey managed to sell out worldwide as Adidas struggled to meet the unprecedented demand. When Messi confirmed his plans to sign with Inter Miami, tickets for his projected debut skyrocketed.
Now, the popular supermarket chain Publix can include itself in that phenomenon. On Thursday, the soccer star once again became a viral sensation when he was spotted doing some grocery shopping. Considering his ability to shut down entire blocks in Latin America whenever people get a glimpse of him, the sight of him being able to run some errands without much hassle was one to behold.
Messi in Argentina: Can’t get into his own house
Messi in America: Shopping unbothered at Publix pic.twitter.com/E1qqugxQnR
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) July 14, 2023
Unsurprisingly, this innocent visit provided a massive financial boost beyond the items Messi bought. According to Apex Marketing, Publix, and High Noon — the seltzer seen in his cart — received an estimated $3.3 million in brand exposure.
— Mark J. Burns (@markjburns88) July 14, 2023
Messi is already making his presence felt in the city. Just the day before, Hard Rock Cafe revealed the newest item on the menu: the Messi Chicken Sandwich.
Another dream of Messi’s comes true!
We’re thrilled to introduce to you the new Messi Chicken Sandwich that we’ve created with the World Champion, #LeoMessi, inspired by his favorite food: The Milanese!
— Hard Rock Cafe (@HardRock) July 12, 2023
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