Apple Shows Its Star-Studded Strategy by Securing Messi for Season Pass
John Gruber, writing for Daring Fireball about how Apple reportedly sweetened the deal for Lionel Messi to join Major League Soccer by sharing some of the revenue from their MLS Season Pass subscriptions with him:
I’d be very curious to learn just how big a revenue share Messi is getting from Apple, but regardless of the details, this is simply an extraordinary coup for both MLS and Apple TV+. There are only a handful of athletes who are so good, and so beloved, that they can singlehandedly elevate an entire league in a team sport. Lionel Messi is one of them.
Apple has been playing this same game for years with their scripted TV+ shows and movies. They realize that the biggest draw for entertainment — perhaps even more so than storyline — is star power. People will watch almost anything that their favorite actor or actress is in. You see this belief manifest in Apple’s ad campaigns depicting high-profile actors pining over having not yet been tapped for a TV+ show. Likewise, TV+’s introduction will be remembered for its long line of huge industry names being trotted onstage to pitch their projects.
Now, Apple’s making the same play with MLS Season Pass by strategically bringing on Messi, and I think it’ll be huge. After all, what are the players if not the stars of the show?