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Want an authentic Lionel Messi Inter Miami kit? You’ll have to wait until October

<i>Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA Today Sports/Reuters</i><br/>Messi's kit is a hot commodity.
Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA Today Sports/Reuters
Messi's kit is a hot commodity.

By Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

New York (CNN) — It’s easy to watch Lionel Messi play in the United States, but dressing like him is a bit more difficult.

Fans hoping to purchase an authentic Inter Miami jersey featuring its newest star’s name will have to wait until mid-October (notably, that’s when the Major League Soccer season ends). Adidas, the jersey’s official manufacturer, said in a statement that demand for the $160 shirt is “truly unprecedented.”

That’s hindering a number of sellers, including MLS’ official online store, which is warning buyers of the mid-October delivery date.

“We’re working as quickly as possible to ensure that every fan who wants a jersey can get one online or at one of our stores,” an Adidas spokesperson said.

Messi’s arrival is having a halo effect on the struggling Florida team. Shortly after Messi announced his intention of coming to the US in June, online retailer said that it sold six months’ worth of generic Inter Miami jerseys in one day, and they’re still sold out.

“After that, Adidas enabled us to place a new order to be expedited through production,” Billy Lalor, senior director of consumer merchandising of, told CNN. “Whereas a factory order usually takes six months to move through the supply chain and arrive to a market, Adidas is making this happen in half that time.”

However, fans won’t be left empty-handed. has plenty of Messi-branded T-shirts on sale and ready to ship, which Lalor said have “sold pretty well.”

It’s not the first time that Adidas has struggled with Messi mania: Last year, following the soccer star’s first-ever FIFA World Cup win, Adidas quickly sold out of his Argentina kit worldwide.

The World Cup was a boon for Adidas’ bottom line. Adidas sold around $424 million in “event-related sales” in the fourth quarter, with its soccer merchandise growing by 30% in the first nine months of 2022 compared to the year prior.

Messi mania

Messi’s first appearance with Inter Miami ended with him scoring the game-winning goal in extra time. Although Apple TV doesn’t publicly release viewership figures, a video clip of that moment posted by the MLS got more than 214 million views and more than 15 million social media engagements, according to sports analytics company Zoomph.

His signing is also expected to be a boon for Apple’s nascent streaming package, MLS Season Pass. Sports Business Journal, citing industry sources, reports that the subscription packaging is “approaching 1 million subscribers” — and the company expects “that number to balloon even further once Messi starts playing.”

Messi’s next appearance is Tuesday evening against Atlanta United for Inter Miami’s second Leagues Cup match. Tickets are still available.

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