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Hard Rock partners with star athlete to mark 50 years

Soccer superstar Lionel Messi was presented with a special Hard Rock guitar to mark the partnership with Hard Rock. The announcement was made June 10, 2021. (Photo courtesy Hard Rock)

HOLLYWOOD – Hard Rock has forged relationships with the world’s most famous musicians and celebrities over the years. It’s been an effective way to promote the brand and its intrinsic connection to live music and star-level amenities at its properties. Now, to mark its 50th anniversary, Hard Rock is collaborating with one of the world’s most famous athletes – soccer star Lionel Messi.

Hard Rock International chairman and CEO of Seminole Gaming, Jim Allen, made the announcement at the Hard Rock Café at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood on June 10.

Soccer superstar Lionel Messi was ranked as the highest paid athlete in the world in 2019. (Photo

The first Hard Rock Café opened in London on June 14, 1971. Since then, the brand has gone through massive transformations – it now operates not only cafes, but also resorts, hotels, casinos and live music venues in 68 countries. Hard Rock was acquired by the Seminole Tribe in 2007 and remains its parent entity.

While Hard Rock does have a connection to sports – in 2016 it purchased the naming rights to the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens where the Miami Dolphins play – it has never forged a partnership with a famous athlete as a global ambassador until now.

The 33-year-old Messi is an Argentinian who plays as a forward and captains FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. He is considered one of the greatest soccer players of all time. He will be a Hard Rock brand ambassador for five years.

“Sports and music are an integral part of my life, a perfect combination between my profession and my leisure time. It is an honor to be the first athlete to partner with a brand who has a history of teaming with music legends,” Messi said in a statement.

Part of the partnership includes the launch of Messi-branded Hard Rock apparel – a new collection of merchandise that features the 50th anniversary logo and some of Messi’s most iconic symbols – a lion, his No. 10 jersey number, and his own logo. The collection is available at Hard Rock retail stores and online.

More is at Click here to see a video unveiling the partnership.

The Messi partnership with Hard Rock marks the 50th anniversary of the brand and a new “Live Greatness” motto. (Photo courtesy Hard Rock)
A Hard Rock 50th anniversary pin includes the No. 10 and lion logo associated with soccer superstar Lionel Messi, who will serve as a Hard Rock ambassador for the next five years. (Photo courtesy Rock Shop)
The front of a Lionel Messi T-shirt that is part of Hard Rock’s 50th anniversary. (Photo courtesy Rock Shop)
The back of a Lionel Messi T-shirt that is part of Hard Rock’s 50th anniversary. (Photo courtesy Rock Shop)
Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at