The potential loss of EUR137 million corresponds to EUR77m in commercial income, EUR17 for match day income and results on the pitch and EUR43 million in sales of shirts and merchandising that the Barça club would stop entering.
The departure of Lionel Messi could reduce the brand value of FC Barcelona by 11%, that is, the club may lose 137 million euros of the EUR 1,266M of its 2021 valuation according to the estimate of Brand Finance , the leading independent consultancy valuation of intangibles whose rankings comply with the ISO 10668 and ISO 20671 of valuation and evaluation of brands respectively and that contributes with its brand value database to create one of the indicators of the Global Innovation Index (GII) of the UN.
FC Barcelona is currently the second most valuable football club brand in the world, according to the Brand Finance Football 50 2021 report . With a brand value of EUR1,266m, Barcelona is one step behind Real Madrid, which boasts a brand value of just EUR10m plus – EUR 1,276m.
Brand equity is based on the proportion of revenue attributable to the brand; Messi’s departure is expected to have direct adverse effects on Barcelona’s future sponsorship income, business income and match day income.
It could also indirectly contribute to a decline in brand equity, as Barcelona’s brand strength may weaken with declining fan perceptions and global following of the club at risk of contracting. By observing Messi’s role in generating the club’s income in the different facets, Brand Finance has estimated that his departure could cause an 11% drop in the value of the FC Barcelona brand.
In absolute terms, the Barça club could lose EUR137 million in its 2021 brand valuation amounting to EUR1,266 million, thus losing any chance of overtaking Real Madrid. If with the departure of Messi the club falls below EUR 1,129m, Barça could also lose its second place in the ranking of the most valuable clubs in the world (Brand Finance Football 50 2021 ranking) and fall to third place behind Manchester United whose Current brand value is EUR1,130m.
Teresa de Lemus, Managing Director of Brand Finance Spain , commented: “Messi is synonymous with the Barcelona brand and has been the club’s talisman since he burst onto the scene 15 years ago.
His presence at the club has undoubtedly allowed him to attract followers, season tickets, top players, managers, business deals and winning trophies. His departure can cost the club a lot and cause a painful decline in brand equity. “
What consequences does Messi’s departure have for FC Barcelona’s brand equity?
It goes without saying that Messi is a global superstar. The key areas where the Argentine player generates value for Barcelona are:
His global impact on Messi’s personal brand makes him a very attractive athlete to corporate sponsors and his presence at the club has undoubtedly allowed FC Barcelona to attract more lucrative endorsement deals.
Messi has more than 240 million followers on Instagram, more than double that of the official FC Barcelona account (99.5m), a figure that epitomizes the popularity and value he can bring to any team only through his followers. Brand value at risk only linked to business revenue is estimated to be around EUR77 million.
Performance on the field and Matchday
We cannot be sure how Barcelona will perform after his departure, but we can say that Messi has had a colossal impact on his performance over the years and has attracted a significant number of fans to the club.
Messi has scored more than 30 goals per season since 2008/2009, which has led the club to win a host of triumphs over the years. Barcelona still have a star-studded lineup, but it will take time for them to adjust to playing without their point man. Messi’s absence from the pitch could cost Barcelona up to EUR17 million in brand value.
Sale of t-shirts and merchandising
You can walk the streets, almost anywhere in the world, and not be surprised to see someone wearing the Barça jersey with the iconic No. 10. Messi’s jersey sales reportedly generated more than EUR200 million, of which the club raises around 10-15% (about EUR30 million), with kit maker Nike enjoying the lion’s share.
So Messi’s departure may also cause a loss in Nike’s revenue if Barcelona’s marketing sales decline. Without the famous “Messi No. 10” in the club’s stores, Barcelona could lose € 43 million in brand value. Brand equity must be measured projectively, that is, by calculating how much additional value Messi could generate for Barcelona for the rest of his career if he stayed.
While it could be argued that he is nearing the end of his career; Messi has shown little sign of slowing down, recording 38 goals in all competitions in the 2020/2021 season. Many players like Cristiano Ronaldo (36 years old) and Zlatan Ibrahimovi