14 Million Dollars for 60 Seconds: Lionel Messi Takes Center Stage in Michelob Ultra Super Bowl XLIII Ad
Taking the MLS by storm was one thing. Now Lionel Messi has his sights set on Super Bowl LVIII.
The Inter Miami star, World Cup champion, and global soccer icon will headline a Super Bowl ad for Michelob Ultra, the brand announced Thursday. A teaser to what will be a 60-second spot shows Messi ordering a beer as he walks up to a bar and his reaction when the tap stops pouring.
Remarkably, the spot could cost around $14 million, based on 2023 advertising rates for Super Bowl XLVII.
Meanwhile, Messi and Inter Miami have embarked on the next leg of the club’s globetrotting preseason and held a special birthday celebration on board for new arrival Luis Suarez. The ex-Barcelona striker turned 37 on Wednesday and was met with a cake as his teammates sang ‘Happy Birthday’ in Spanish.
After already playing in El Salvador and Texas, the Herons are slated to play twice in Saudi Arabia next week, including a clash against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr on February 1. The Super Bowl is on February 11 in Las Vegas, although it’s unclear if he will be in attendance.
Messi’s partnership with Michelob Ultra’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, began in 2020. The Super Bowl spot is part of the brewery’s sizable investment in soccer. The ad follows the brand being revealed as the global beer sponsor of this summer’s Copa America.
It’s also expected that Ultra will partner with the men’s World Cup when it comes to the US, Canada, and Mexico in 2026, when Messi and Argentina will aim to defend their titles.
Messi is a marketing dream, with giant brands such as Adidas, Gatorade, Hard Rock International, Royal Caribbean, and Apple TV all involved with him. His social media footprint is enormous, with nearly 500 million followers on Instagram.
Anheuser-Busch routinely spends millions on Super Bowl ads; last year’s game brought an asking price of as much as $7 million for a 30-second spot, with companies paying it to be on US advertising’s biggest stage and with hopes of reaching an expected audience of more than 100 million.
Lionel Messi flashed a wide grin as he hopped on a team plane to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday
The beverage giant had a Michelob Ultra spot as part of last year’s Super Bowl lineup, also with a sports theme — it was set at Bushwood Country Club, the fictional country club in ‘Caddyshack,’ and starred tennis great Serena Williams, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current TV analyst Tony Romo, Miami Heat standout Jimmy Butler, golfer Rickie Fowler, soccer player Alex Morgan and boxer Canelo Alvarez.
Messi has more than 800 goals in his career for club and country, making him one of the greatest scorers in the sport’s history. He scored twice in the most recent World Cup final in 2022 that Argentina won against France on penalty kicks.
Messi is a four-time Champions League winner, an Olympic gold medalist and has been part of 44 trophy wins overall, considered the most in soccer history.