Lionel Messi will participate in his first Super Bowl ad on Sunday, February 11. The Argentine superstar takes center stage in a new commercial with Michelob Ultra.
The Anheuser-Busch brand is taking advantage of football's clash of interpretation across the pond — the Americanization of Messi on the soccer pitch and the gridiron. American football is undoubtedly more popular than soccer in the United States, but soccer's emergence stateside is noteworthy.
Messi signed for David Beckahm's Ft. Lauderdale side to much avail last summer. The “GOAT,” as he's so aptly known, instantly guided the Herons to their first trophy ever at the Leagues Cup championship. Recently reunited with his old Barca pal Luis Suarez, Messi suits in the Michelob ad with another Miami legend and local friend: Dan Marino.
Superstar Messi joins forces with Marino and Sudeikis for Michelob Ultra's Super Bowl ad
Messi immediately takes center stage in Michelob's one-minute ad, ordering a fresh brew at a beach bar. While he waits for his cold one, the Miami superstar plays pick-up soccer on the beach while comedian Jason Sudeikis — lead actor of the hit show Ted Lasso, provides risible commentary. “Leo, we go way back,” says Sudeikis, viewing Messi's dribbling heroics from the beach.
Amid the commercial, Leo finds another Miami footballing legend, Dan Marino, and kicks the former quarterback the ball onto his yacht. Marino promptly throws the soccer ball back into the sand, where Messi tees up a glaze for one of his teammates.
Overall, the commercial is entertaining and flirts with Michelob's broader ambitions around advertising the sport in the US. As a proud sponsor of this summer's 2024 Copa America hosted in the United States, Michelob is riding the wave of the beautiful game's rise in the US.
Says Michelob Ultral VP of Marketing Ricardo Marques in an interview with the Associated Press: “I can tell you that this is a multi-month process, we want to make sure that we bring our very best plans forward for a moment like the Super Bowl, so it's been a while in the making.
“In the back end of the year we brought this [idea] and we started gathering the talent and I can tell you that it was not as challenging or as difficult as you might think to bring these amazing names together, because we have a great story to tell, because we have a great brand in Michelob Ultra, we have a story that people connected with.
“Messi, Marino, and of course, Sudeikis, it was actually great to see them having a great time on set,” he adds. “I was there with it with a crew and it was everything that you see translated to camera, it was genuine emotions from enjoyment of being part of telling this great story.”
The Super Bowl ad also adds to Messi's millions. He allegedly received a $14 million check for his presence in the 60-second spot. Does anyone deserve that much money? No, of course not. But it's the ultra-scarce and talented Messi, and 100 million viewers will see his face.