Ahead of its 50th anniversary, Hard Rock International has signed Barcelona forward Lionel Messi as its brand ambassador.
Messi to Boost Hard Rock International Popularity
Known for its customer-focused attitude, Hard Rock International has expanded its list of stars signing up with a new soccer legend to boost awareness and promote its IP. The renowned land-based casino operator has added Lionel Messi, the Argentinian soccer ace and Barcelona forward, who has achieved recognition the world over for his prowess at the game.
Messi is stepping in as an ambassador for Hard Rock, spanning the full spectrum of services, including hospitality, restaurants, and entertainment. The partnership is signed ahead of the operator’s 50th anniversary and will come with a collection of merchandise options that will be related to Messi and his legacy.
The new collection features a number of symbols that are traditionally associated with Messi’s career, including the lion and number ten, which is the number that he carries as part of Barcelona FC.
Commenting on the partnership, Hard Rock chairman Jim Allen said that the company has grown to be one of the world’s most recognizable and beloved brands, touting every aspect of its operations. Messi, Allen continued, was the right call in choosing a partner to celebrate the company’s anniversary.
First Hard Rok-Branded Appearances Already Happening
Messi himself said that “sports and music” are an integral part of his own life and that he was happy to be able to combine his career with his leisure time. He has also appeared in a one-minute company commercial where he puts his soccer skills to good use while photographers are snapping away pictures against a backdrop of Hard Rock signage.
Messi has been doing well, and while his contract with Barcelona expires at the end of June, he has amassed around $35 million from various endorsement partnerships with brands and companies over the past year, a Sportico report has revealed.
He is currently partnered with Gatorade, Adidas, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and other big names. Messi is still below the average age of retirement for a most professional soccer player, so he may be looking to join a new team or withdraw from the game completely.
In the meantime, Hard Rock is looking to reinforce its hegemony in the entertainment sector through a $20 million investment in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.
Brand recognition is important for Hard Rock as the company started early in 2021 that it will be looking to reinforce its digital footprint. Seeking out more recognizable brand ambassadors is a good strategy and one that resonates with the company’s bigger picture.