Inter Miami Chief Business Officer Xavier Asensi, who played a key role in getting Lionel Messi to sign with the South Florida side, was named the Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year by Major League Soccer (MLS) on Monday.
Asensi joined Miami in 2021 after 10 years as an executive with Spanish club Barcelona and upon signing Messi called it an “historic moment” for football in the United States both on the sporting side and in business opportunities.
“Asensi played a significant role in bringing global superstar Lionel Messi to Inter Miami CF, and effectively managed all areas of the club’s business operations as it achieved significant growth in revenue and engagement across its digital content,” MLS said in a news release.
Messi, a World Cup champion and record eight-time Ballon d’Or winner as best player in the world, arrived at Miami in July and his impact was felt both on and off the field.
The Argentine forward scored a stoppage-time winner in his Miami debut and had 11 goals in 14 appearances across all competitions for the MLS side while leading the club to their first-ever trophy by winning the Leagues Cup final.
Messi’s arrival was also credited with a surge in ticket prices, merchandise and subscriptions to Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass, which streams live matches. Miami have also said season tickets for its 2024 campaign are already sold out.
The Executive of the Year award is named in honour of former Los Angeles Galaxy President and General Manager Doug Hamilton, who died in 2010. Hamilton won the Executive of the Year award three consecutive times from 2003-2005.
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