Paris Saint-Germain managed to sell over a million shirts for the first time in its history, including 60% of Argentine star Lionel Messi’s No. 30 shirt, becoming the best-selling team by number of shirts last season.
Qatar Nasser Al-Khelaifi, president of Paris Saint-Germain, told the Marca newspaper that the club’s total revenue after Messi’s first season was around 700 million euros.
“We have already made a lot of money thanks to Messi,” Al-Khelaifi said, referring to the huge sales of Argentina jerseys with the team.
The fame of Lionel Messi pushed sales of Paris Saint-Germain shirts to such a high ceiling that the Flea set a new record despite their suffering on the pitch.
This is the first such figure for any footballer, confirming the continued appeal of the Argentinean Lionel Messi to invest in shops.
This means Messi’s shirt sales have outpaced those of archrival Cristiano Ronaldo, who returned to Manchester United for a second term last summer.
And copies of Ronaldo’s Manchester United shirts had sold £187m by last September.
But Manchester United is no longer the club that sells the most shirts, with Paris Saint-Germain leading the way.
And in the hours after Messi confirmed his move to PSG, nearly €1bn (£857m) had been raised from shirt sales alone.
“Demand is up 30% to 40%,” said Marca Armstrong, director of partnerships at PSG.
He added: “When there is a signing of this magnitude, like (Cristiano) Ronaldo at (Manchester) United, you might think that he would be paid to sell shirts, but that is not the case. You can’t produce many extra shirts.”
He explained: “We cannot meet the demand for Messi shirts. We have reached the ceiling. Nobody can meet this demand. We already sell a lot of shirts, probably more than any other team in the world, per player.”
Mark Armstrong continued, “We have a huge demand for modern products and the revenue from the Jordan brand is huge, but the demand grows even more when you see a player like Messi.”
He noted that the club’s marketing and sponsorship deals have grown by 13% since Messi’s arrival, allowing them to sign a large number of deals.
Mark Armstrong confirmed that PSG’s social media following is increasing by 1.4 million a week, accompanied by a significant increase in ticket sales.