Argentinian football icon Lionel Messi has been named the first-ever Global Ambassador of Indian EdTech business BYJU’s to front its “Education for All” social initiative.
The deal comes ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, for which BYJU’s has secured a slot on the tournament’s sponsorship portfolio. Messi is set to captain the Argentina team for what could be his final World Cup.
The financial details of this partnership was not disclosed.
This is not the first time BYJU’s has invested heavily in marketing ventures. The firm also has on board Shah Rukh Khan as its brand ambassador since 2017. It took over as the primary sponsor of the Indian national cricket teams in 2019 and recently agreed to an reportedly estimated US$55 million contract renewal with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The onboarding of Lionel Messi comes in the midst of the company downsizing and laying off employees in the thousands. BYJU’s announced a department-wide layoff of 5% of its 50,000 employees last month.
According to its aim to optimise spending and operational costs across areas such as product, content, media, and technology, the unicorn tech business expects to fire 2,500 workers in the next six months. BYJU’s has already begun the process of terminating staff and has even sent out a 15-day notice period to the affected employees.
Commenting on the signing, Divya Gokulnath, Co-founder of BYJU’s, said:
“We are honoured and excited to collaborate with Lionel Messi as our global ambassador. He is a once-in-a-generation talent whose pursuit of excellence, all-in mentality, humility, and reliability resonate deeply with BYJU’S brand values. He rose from the grassroots to become one of the most successful sportspersons ever. That is the kind of opportunity that BYJU’S Education For All wants to create for the nearly 5.5 million children it currently empowers.
“No one represents the power of enhancing human potential more than Lionel Messi. It is not really surprising that the greatest player of all time is also the greatest learner of all time. I am sure this partnership will inspire millions of people around the world to dream bigger and learn better. As football fans know, with Messi on your side anything is possible.”
Lionel Messi added:
“I chose to partner with Byju’s because their mission to make everyone fall in love with learning perfectly aligns with my values. High-quality education changes live, and Byju’s has transformed the career paths of millions of students worldwide. I hope to inspire young learners to reach and remain at the top.“