Unexpectedly huge demand for Messi’s pink jersey surprises Adidas

MIAMI — Just one summer later, pink shirts are everywhere. Buying it has become almost impossible, but paradoxically it is on the backs of thousands of fans who fill U.S. stadiums, hanging on market stalls in Buenos Aires and Bangkok, virtually as they gather Every venue shimmers vividly. English football.

T-shirts have become the most popular sportswear item because It’s an irresistible combination of one of the most popular athletes of his generation; unique and exotic colors; and the ruthless efficiency of Southeast Asian textile factories.

Yet somehow, few saw it coming. Tor Southard was in a better position than most, but even he was caught off guard. As Adidas’ senior director of North American football, he’s been receiving emails from colleagues for nearly a year asking whether the company’s top star, Lionel Messi, would join Inter Miami, also an Adidas client. As far as he knew, it was just a rumor. Like everyone else on the planet, Southard learned this was true on June 7, the day Messi announced his intentions in a rare interview with two Spanish media outlets.

For many, the most pressing issue is football. Six months after winning the World Cup with Argentina, Why did Messi, the best player of his generation and arguably the best of all time, leave Europe’s elite clubs to join a smaller side in America’s top soccer league, Major League Soccer? Worst ranked team in ?

For Southard and Adidas, they have more pressing matters. In the days since Messi’s announcement, the company has received nearly 500,000 requests from stores and suppliers for Miami’s pastel electric pink shirts. It’s a specific fabric and a specific shade: Pantone 1895C. “It’s not like it’s white, we have inventory that can be repurposed,” Southard said.

Adidas will need more fabric. Much more. Although he won’t start selling Messi’s official jerseys until the contract is officially signed on July 15, he ordered large rolls of pink fabric to make the jerseys within 24 hours of his interview with Spanish television.

Major sportswear brands like Adidas and Nike often prefer to produce team apparel in high volumes rather than manufacturing based on demand. But Southard said that due to the sudden influx of orders, releasing a pink jersey with Messi’s name and No. 10 immediately became Adidas’s “number one global priority.”

To streamline the process, the company looked for suppliers of pink recycled polyester fabric for the T-shirts as close as possible to the factories in Southeast Asia where the T-shirts were made. Orders for other details, such as logos and badges, are completed quickly at other factories. Adidas initially told its retailers to start selling T-shirts and promised shipments on October 15, but the first batch of T-shirts arrived in the United States on July 18. They are sent directly to Miami, where the need is greatest. They sold out almost immediately.

In September, in a corner of Miami’s affluent Brickell neighborhood, two young men opened a pop-up shop called “Messi Miami Store,” selling pink Inter Miami jerseys and an alternative version of a black belt. A pink-trimmed jersey that the team wears during games. All gone.. Messi Miami Store is in no way affiliated with Messi, Inter Miami or Adidas. Children’s T-shirts sell for $25 at the booth, while counterfeit “genuine” T-shirts sell for as much as $65. The seller, who asked not to be named, said about 30 units were sold within a few hours.

Although Adidas makes every effort to get official Messi shirts into stores as quickly as possible, the clamor for them (any version) is so loud that fakes flood global markets to make up for the shortage.

Southard says the official sales figures have surpassed all benchmarks: surpassing the frenzy surrounding David Beckham’s move to LA Galaxy in 2007; not just the ones that led to Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United in 2021 Rebuttal; not just the clamor for Messi’s Argentina jersey after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The Inter Miami jersey is now the best-selling adidas football jersey in North America.

Messi arrived in MLS in cinematic fashion, scoring the winning goal on his debut on July 22, but it came too late to save the club’s season. He didn’t make the playoffs. Messi won’t wear pink again until next year.

Adidas is confident it can produce enough of the next edition of the T-shirts, which will be launched in February, to meet demand. Many people already aspire to have it.

Even Beckham himself – a global celebrity, co-owner of Inter Miami and owner of Lionel Messi – has trouble buying a jersey. More than once he wanted to give away a pink Messi jersey, but was told he would have to wait like everyone else.

Author: Kevin Draper and Rory Smith

BBC-NEWS-SRC: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/23/business/lionel-messi-inter-miami-jersey.html, import date: 2023-11-03 15:30:08

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