Byju’s three-year contract with legendary football Lionel Messi as global brand ambassador has been put on hold, according to reports, over a year after the deal was signed. In November 2022, the edtech company signed Messi as its global brand ambassador for a three-year ‘education for all’ campaign. According to reports, the footballer was signed for an estimated $5-7 million per year.
“Bjyu’s paid Messi for the first year; it is yet to be decided whether the deal will be terminated before full term, or whether Byju’s plans to revive the contract in due course. This is on account of the liquidity crisis and other matters of serious concern within the company,” one of the executives said as per Economic Times.
Byju’s already faced social media outrage, since the Lionel Messi contract came one month after the company announced layoffs of over 2,500 people. The company’s founder, Byju Raveendran, then stated, “there is a lot for us to learn from him and we are privileged to be able to.”
Also, the company chose not to renew its endorsement contract with superstar Shah Rukh Khan after it expired in mid-2023, which was later said to be a mutual choice since the Bollywood star did not want to be linked with the platform.