Byju’s three-year deal with footballer Lionel Messi as global brand ambassador has been put on hold, it was reported, almost a year after the deal was signed. The edtech company had signed Lionel Messi as its global brand ambassador in November 2022 for three years for an ‘education for all’ campaign. The soccer star had been roped in for an estimated $5-7 million per year, as per reports.
“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.
In January last year, Lionel Messi had written on his Instagram page: “@byjus_app and their world-changing initiative#EducationForAll are helping children from underserved communities with access to world-class educational resources. I believe that this simple initiative has the power to change the world.”
Then, Byju’s had faced backlash on social media, since the Lionel Messi deal came one month after the company announced layoffs of close to 2,500 employees. The company’s founder Byju Raveendran then said that “there is a lot for us to learn from him and we are privileged to be able to.”
Moreover, the company did no renewed its endorsement contract with actor Shah Rukh Khan after it ended mid-2023 but it was then reported to be a mutual decision as the Bollywood star did not want to be associated with the platform.
Byju’s has been in a severe crisis including a shareholder agreement tussle as a group of investors reportedly launched a campaign to oust leadership. The company has been under scrutiny over the past two years.
On the crisis, Byju Raveendran wrote in a letter addressed to employees that “the fight is only against a few vested interests who were trying to sabotage the company.”
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