LAFC’s Kellyn Acosta Is Now the Most Endorsed MLS Player After Lionel Messi

Published 12/09/2023, 4:02 AM EST

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Lionel Messi is no stranger to endorsements. The Argentine was already earning over $60 million per year before his Inter Miami days, with a big chunk of it coming from his lifetime deal with Adidas. As expected, Messi is the MLS player with the most brand endorsements and also the highest-paid athlete in the country. Second on the list comes LAFC midfielder Kellyn Acosta, a name that might not be very well-known amongst soccer fans.

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Acosta, a defensive midfielder by trade, was a key reason behind LAFC’s 2022 triumph in the MLS Cup. In addition to his defensive prowess, he recorded 3 goals and 4 assists last season. Hence, it’s no surprise why brands are interested in the LAFC man.

Kellyn Acosta is second to only Lionel Messi as MLS’ most-endorsed player

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As per Sportspromedia, Lionel Messi has 21 brand endorsements, more than any other player in the league. Some of the key brands endorsed by the Argentine include Pepsi, Lays, Budweiser, Tata Motors, etc. Messi is followed by Acosta who has 13 different endorsements. His major endorsement is Nike.

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Others in the top 5 include Javier Hernandez of La Galaxy (11), Walker Zimmerman of Nashville SC (10), and Hector Herrera of Houston Dynamo (7). As far as teams are concerned, Sporting Kansas City leads the way with 125 deals, with Austin FC (111) and FC Cincinnati (107) close behind.

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The popularity of the MLS is on the rise and the sponsorship revenue has seen a 15% increase to a record $587 million in 2023. The major investors are finance, healthcare, and insurance brands. Yet, what could be the reason for the spectacular growth of the league once regarded as not among the elite?

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The rise of the MLS

The MLS records more than 1 million viewers for some of its biggest matches and with close to 11 million attendees until now, Major League Soccer is enjoying the benefits of a wider exposure. A key reason for the popularity is the signing of Lionel Messi. Another major contributor is Apple’s $2.5 billion streaming deal. The deal has infused cash and popularity into a league that was already on the rise.

Interestingly, the MLS also has the youngest audience among the major US leagues. Considering how the 1994 World Cup in America, helped put US soccer on the world map, the 2026 World Cup could solidify its place among the world’s finest soccer competitions.

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What is your opinion about the future of MLS? Let us know in the comments below.

WATCH THIS STORY: NFL Star’s Wife Celebrates Soccer Greatest Lionel Messi’s Miami Transfer with Unbridled Joy

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Written by:

Adithya Narayanan

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One take at a time

Soccer was the first sport I played in my life. It turned out to be my favorite one by an absolute mile. In my younger days, I became a Liverpool fan but it was only when Jurgen Klopp arrived that my passion for the game intensified.
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Edited by:

Daniel D'Cruz

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