Lionel Messi has made a surprising move off the pitch by launching a non-alcoholic hydration drink brand called Más+. This new venture is a collaboration with Mark Anthony Brands, the owner of White Claw. Thus, this marks a significant entry into the competitive hydration and energy drink market.

On June 4, Messi introduced Más+ Next Generation Beverage Co., a brand focused on providing a balanced blend of electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals without artificial sweeteners, colors, or caffeine. The drink comes in four flavors: Miami Punch, Orange d’Or, Berry Copa Crush, and Limon Lime League. Each bottle contains only 10 calories and one gram of cane sugar; making it a low-sugar option in the hydration market.

Más+ aims to carve out a niche in a market dominated by established brands like Gatorade, BodyArmor and Prime. Mark Anthony Brands, known for its alcoholic beverages, is expanding into non-alcoholic options as consumer preferences shift. The global hydration and energy drink market is projected to reach $60 billion by 2032, growing at an annual rate of 6%. This growth presents an opportunity for new entrants like Más+.

Will Messi’s hydration drink succeed?

Miami will get the drink on June 13, followed by its website in July and US stores in August. A global launch is planned for later this year, leveraging Messi’s international fame to drive sales.

“Hydration is essential to overall wellbeing. I believe everyone deserves a drink with amazing ingredients and taste. Más+ is a drink I’m proud to share with family and friends”, Messi said.

Despite the star’s power, the hydration drink market remains highly competitive. Andrea Hernández, founder of Snaxshot, a food and beverage insights platform, points out that success will depend on factors like price parity and distribution. Messi’s extensive fanbase, especially in Latin America, could give Más+ a competitive edge, as Prime’s popularity has not yet fully penetrated this region.

Hernández also notes that Más+’s use of cane sugar aligns with a growing trend towards better-tasting, low-sugar beverages. This could appeal to Gen Alpha, the next generation of consumers who are increasingly health-conscious and influenced by athlete endorsements.

“People know the importance of hydration and are seeking better products that help them achieve their goals. We’re proud to be collaborating with the world’s greatest soccer player, Lionel Messi, to meet that need,” Mas+ Next Generation Beverage Co. executive VP Rishi Daing said.

“Más+ by Messi sets a new standard for the hydration category by delivering premium ingredients to people who want to move, play and live more. Our beverage and flavor innovation combined with Messi’s expertise as an elite athlete has resulted in a drink unlike anything on the market.”

Competition and controversy for Messi hydration line

Messi’s announcement quickly drew comparisons to the popular Prime drink, co-founded by YouTubers KSI and Logan Paul. Fans and commentators on social media, including KSI himself, noted the similarities in branding and concept between Más+ and Prime.

“Looks familiar…” KSI said in response to the alleged parallels with his PRIME drink. This sparked debates online, highlighting the competitive nature of the hydration drink market.

Messi’s move to launch Más+ coincides with his tenure at Inter Miami in Major League Soccer (MLS). His presence has already boosted the league’s sponsorship revenue by 15% to $587 million, with brands like Celsius becoming official energy drink sponsors. The introduction of Más+ could further enhance MLS’s marketability and Messi’s influence in the U.S. sports landscape.