Messi Seen as ‘Magnet’ for Attracting Argentine Brands, Visitors to Miami

Juan Manuel Domínguez, an advisor to the owners of MLS team Inter Miami, tells Bloomberg Línea that the Argentine striker’s arrival at the club will cause “furor” among fans and brands

Photo: Bloomberg
June 08, 2023 | 05:00 PM

Bloomberg Línea — Current estimates indicate that of the approximately 300,000 Argentines living in the US, more than one-third of the total (between 100,000 and 108,000) live in Florida, specifically in the Miami-Dade and Fort Lauderdale areas, according to data from the US Census Bureau and projections from the Pew Research Center.

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Added to them are the nearly 8,000 new legal and naturalized residents that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported to the Census Bureau for fiscal year 2022 nationwide; so following the trend of choice, the Argentine diaspora in the ‘sunshine state’ may have increased by more than 7% in the last year.

The population of Argentine origin in the US constitutes the 14th largest Hispanic population in the country, or 1% of the total Hispanic population. The Argentine population in the U.S. is concentrated in Florida (29% of the total), California (18%) and New York (10%).

What is clear is that the number of Argentine US residents is on the rise, and for the most diverse reasons.


And the arrival of Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi to Inter Miami, or the backing of Marcos Galperin of MercadoLibre (MELI) for the Miami Sharks rugby team could further drive the arrival of Argentines to the country.

The current picture of Miami shows a universe of Argentines who live in the city, but who run businesses in Argentina.

A second group belongs to the culinary sector, and which is one of the strongest, with Argentine brands setting up in Miami or the creation of new spaces with an Argentine imprint. According to market data consolidated at the end of 2021, it is estimated that more than 150 restaurants of Argentine investors have opened in Miami.


The third group is related to real estate developers or in the construction and management of hotels.

Finally, there are countless entrepreneurs who choose to start their businesses in Miami. However, it is not an economically relevant community, according to business sources in the city.

“The businesses or industries in which Latin Americans are entrepreneurs in the US are mainly technology, gastronomy, gas stations and services in general. On average, Latinos invest around $180,000 in their businesses,” according to Law Offices of Carla Anzaldi.

The ‘Messi effect’

The 35-year-old Argentine soccer player confirmed on Wednesday that his soccer future is in Major League Soccer (MLS), with Inter Miami, a team owned by billionaires Jorge and José Mas, whose main partner is former English soccer player David Beckham.

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Although Messi said the deal is not “100%” finalized, it implies his rejection of a Saudi offer that included a $400-million-per-year paycheck to play for Al Hilal, and the possibility of him returning to FC Barcelona.

The Athletic reported that Messi was offered a deal that would give him a share of profits with Adidas and Apple. He could also get a stake in Inter Miami, according to ESPN.

The contract being agreed between the FIFA World Cup winner and Inter Miami will run from July 1, and Messi’s debut with the club could be on July 21 against Mexico’s Cruz Azul.


“What will happen with the Messi furor are two things: on the one hand, there will be an avalanche of Argentine brands wanting to be associated with Inter or Messi,” Juan Manuel Domínguez, advisor to the owners of Inter Miami, told Bloomberg Línea.

“At the same time, tourism will be boosted. Every long weekend that Messi plays in Miami will trigger the demand for tickets and weekend trips, which airlines will strongly exploit,” he said.

Today, Miami is an expensive city to live in, especially for Argentines and, according to Domínguez, it is the second most expensive city in the United States.

“It is a city that experienced a strong immigration of the Latino community, but above all, after the pandemic, it welcomed many Europeans and people from other parts of the United States,” he said.

Photo: IG @davidbeckhamdfd

Miami’s Brickell district has become a financial and technological center, where the main investment funds are located.

“Miami is now a financial city where sports are now an added value. From now until the 2026 FIFA World Cup, the city will be increasingly active,” says the consultant.

It is worth remembering that Miami is known in basketball for its NBA team, the Miami Heat; the Miami Dolphins in American football, and the Miami Marlins, a Major League Baseball team.

In addition, Inter Miami CF is expected to add many new fans as a result of the Messi signing.

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