It’s easy to watch Lionel Messi play in the United States, but dressing like him is a bit more difficult.
Fans hoping to purchase an authentic Inter Miami jersey featuring its newest star’s name will have to wait until mid-October (notably, that’s when the Major League Soccer season ends). Adidas, the jersey’s official manufacturer, said in a statement that demand for the $160 shirt is “truly unprecedented.”
That’s hindering a number of sellers, including MLS’ official online store, which is warning buyers of the mid-October delivery date.
“We’re working as quickly as possible to ensure that every fan who wants a jersey can get one online or at one of our stores,” an Adidas spokesperson said.
Messi’s arrival is having a halo effect on the struggling Florida team. Shortly after Messi announced his intention of coming to the US in June, online retailer Soccer.com said that it sold six months’ worth of generic Inter Miami jerseys in one day, and they’re still sold out.
“After that, Adidas enabled us to place a new order to be expedited through production,” Billy Lalor, senior director of consumer merchandising of Soccer.com, told CNN. “Whereas a factory order usually takes six months to move through the supply chain and arrive to a market, Adidas is making this happen in half that time.”
However, fans won’t be left empty-handed. Soccer.com has plenty of Messi-branded T-shirts on sale and ready to ship, which Lalor said have “sold pretty well.”