Hard Rock begins year-long 50th anniversary celebration, partners with football legend Messi

Since opening the doors of the first Hard Rock Cafe in London in 1971, Hard Rock International has established itself as one of the most globally recognised companies in the world.

The brand is kicking off its anniversary celebrations by unveiling a new partnership with footballer Lionel Messi, who will serve as brand ambassador for the next five years, as first athlete to partner with Hard Rock.

“Over the past five decades, the Hard Rock brand has grown to become one of the world’s most recognisable and beloved brands, with a Cafe, Hotel or Casino located in 68 countries,” Jim Allen, Chairman of Hard Rock International, said.

“As we reached our 50th anniversary milestone, we knew that we needed to partner with an icon to help us celebrate in a new and unexpected way, and there was no better choice than the legendary Lionel Messi.”

The partnership harkens back to Hard Rock’s roots, as the brand’s world-famous t-shirts came to fruition when the original London Cafe sponsored a local football (soccer) team in the early 1970s.

The team t-shirt featured the simple Hard Rock logo. The extra shirts were returned to the cafe and then given away to loyal customers. Eventually the restaurant had to set up a separate concession stand to handle t-shirt sales.

To this day, Hard Rock’s Classic T-shirt remains an integral part of the brand’s identity.

As part of the new partnership, Hard Rock has also unveiled a new collection of merchandise inspired by its new ambassador. In addition to the special 50th anniversary logo, the garments show some of the player’s most characteristic symbols, such as the lion, the number 10 and his own logo.

This collection joins the brand’s iconic merchandising line, available in all its stores and online shop.

“I am honoured to partner with such a renowned brand as Hard Rock, and even more so at this historic moment — its 50th anniversary,” Messi said.

“Sports and music are an integral part of my life, a perfect combination between my profession and my leisure time. Uniting both is a great success, and I am very happy that they have counted on me for this special outcome. It is an honour to be the first athlete to partner with a brand who has a history of teaming with music legends.”

Allen and Messi have sealed this agreement with an original gift exchange. Messi has given him a signed replica of his golden ball, a gesture that Allen has reciprocated with an electric guitar designed especially for him.

A replica of this guitar, signed by the player, will be displayed at a Hard Rock property to be announced soon, making it part the most valuable collection of musical objects in the world.

Live Greatness

The partnership is part of “Live Greatness”, the new campaign that Hard Rock has launched on its 50th anniversary, which marks a before and after in the brand, honouring its past and while shining a beacon of light towards the future.

As part of the campaign, Messi makes his debut as an ambassador starring in a commercial that unites his skills with the soccer ball as it takes its place among the cherished memorabilia of the brand.

Commemorating the 50th anniversary

June 14 marks the 50th Anniversary of Hard Rock Cafe opening its doors in London. To kick off this milestone, participating Hard Rock Cafes will be offering Country Burgers for $0.71 during the first hour of business that day.

Hard Rock Maldives

Located within CROSSROADS Maldives – the first integrated multi-island leisure destination in the country, Hard Rock Hotel Maldives is just a 15-minute boat ride from the airport.

Inspired by local culture, tropical architecture is infused with contemporary design featured alongside regionally inspired authentic music memorabilia.

The hotel also offers direct access to The Marina @ CROSSROADS Maldives, where an array of shops and over 10 restaurants, all styled on the chic elegance of a European Riviera, await.

From authentic American cuisine at Hard Rock Cafe Maldives to the acclaimed flavours of Ministry of Crab’s award-winning dishes and finely curated local specialties, the culinary offering sees a collision of cultures come together to offer an array of exotic international cuisines.

To learn more about Hard Rock Hotel Maldives and for bookings, please visit www.hardrockhotels.com/maldives.

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