Hard Rock International has marked its 50th anniversary celebrations by signing FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi as its new brand ambassador for the next five years, with the Argentinian becoming the first athlete to partner with Hard Rock.
As part of the new partnership, Hard Rock has unveiled a new collection of merchandise inspired by Messi, available in all its stores and online shops.
In addition to the special 50th anniversary logo, the garments show some of the player’s most iconic symbols, such as the lion, the number 10 from his Barcelona jersey and Messi‘s own logo.
Celebrating five decades since Hard Rock opened the doors of the first Hard Rock Cafe in London in 1971, the collaboration includes a nod to the famous Hard Rock t-shirts that originate from a sponsorship deal signed between the original London cafe, which signed a deal with a local football team in the early 1970s.
As a result, the team’s shirt featured the Hard Rock logo, which has become an ‘integral part of the brand’s identity’.
“I am honoured to partner with such a renowned brand as Hard Rock, and even more so at this historic moment – its 50th anniversary!” Messi remarked. “Sports and music are an integral part of my life, a perfect combination between my profession and my leisure time. Uniting both is a great success, and I am very happy that they have counted on me for this special outcome. It is an honour to be the first athlete to partner with a brand who has a history of teaming with music legends.”
Messi and Jim Allen, Chairman of Hard Rock International, sealed the agreement with an original gift exchange, whereby the LaLiga legend offered Allen a signed replica of his golden ball in exchange for a customised electric guitar.
A replica of the guitar, signed by the player, will be displayed at a Hard Rock property to be announced soon.
“Over the past five decades, the Hard Rock brand has grown to become one of the world’s most recognisable and beloved brands, with a Cafe, Hotel or Casino located in 68 countries,” added Allen.
“As we reached our 50th anniversary milestone, we knew that we needed to partner with an icon to help us celebrate in a new and unexpected way, and there was no better choice than the legendary Lionel Messi.”