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Zini (Inter Miami): ‘On Messi’s impact there are 3 tangible factors’

The MLS was the protagonist of the first day of the Social Football Summit. Within the panel “Growth, Fan Culture and Experience: MLS”, Nick Zini, Vice President Partnership of Inter Miami, spoke: “Compared to 1994, we have a different structure,” he explained, speaking about the American football movement, “and now our fans can have real clubs to support. We have taken a step forward compared to the past, when we used to support South American clubs like Boca and River’.

Following this line of reasoning, Cory Bildstein, Head of Partner Solutions & Insights, noted: “We now have the chance to give the younger generation a club, a franchise to support. Now the average MLS fan is 37 years old: a younger fan base than in other American sports. This puts us at an advantage in that our fans are more loyal to the brands’.

One of the central themes of the panel, of course, was the landing of Leo Messi at Inter Miami: ‘To calculate his ‘impact’,’ Zini pointed out, ‘we will have to wait until the end of the season to account for all types of revenue.

For now there are tangible and intangible factors that demonstrate Messi’s impact.Among the tangible ones there are 3 factors of clear growth: in ticketing, sponsorship and hospitality’.Then Zini joked about the difference between the US and Italy: ‘The match experience is purely US-based, and our fans have four fan zones, partly organised by the club and partly by the brands’.

The focus of the panel then fell on the large bouquet of events to be organised by the United States: the 2024 America’s Cup, the 2025 Club World Cup, the 2026 World Cup for National Teams (in collaboration with Mexico and Canada), and the Olympics scheduled for Los Angeles in 2028.A huge opportunity for American sport.