Home / Companies / Start-ups /  Messi is Byju’s brand ambassador for social initiative

India’s most valuable edtech company Byju’s has appointed football superstar Lionel Messi as the global brand ambassador of its social impact arm, Education For All.

Byju’s tie-up with Messi comes ahead of the Fifa World Cup that starts later this month in Qatar and will feature Byju’s as an official sponsor. Messi, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain football club based in Paris, and captains the Argentinian football team, also runs his own non-profit organization Leo Messi Foundation, which deals with issues such as healthcare, education and sports.

“More than 5.5 million little hearts today have 10 reasons to smile brighter. Yes, Lionel Messi is the first Global Partner of BYJU’S Education For All," Byju’s co-founder Divya Gokulnath said in a LinkedIn post on Friday.

A company spokesperson declined to comment on the endorsement fee paid to Messi.

Byju’s ‘Education For All’ is its attempt to make education equitable, accessible, and free for millions of underserved kids in India, Gokulnath said.

“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," Gokulnath said.

The signing of Messi comes as loss-making Byju’s implements several measures to cut costs.These include firing 2,500 employees, closing physical offices in many cities and revamping its sales activity from on-field sales to inside sales.

Byju’s, however, continues to spend on promotions.For instance, the company spent close to $30-$40 million to become the first Indian company to sponsor a Fifa World Cup.

In June, the company also renewed its deal with India’s cricket board to continue sponsoring the Indian cricket team’s jersey for the next 18 months till 2023. It is also one of the sponsors of the ongoing 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

The Tiger Global-backed company posted a loss of 4,588 crore in FY21, a sharp rise from 231.69 crore in FY20. Total expenses ballooned to 7,027.47 crore in FY21, from 2,873.34 crore in FY20. The company is yet to declare its financials for FY22.

Meanwhile, Byju’s is also in talks with banks to publicly list its offline coaching unit Aakash Educational Services at the beginning of 2023.

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