Red Bulls promoting jersey sales for Saturday’s big game — just not Messi’s

Team will be wearing its Freestyle Kit (which honors 50th anniversary of hip-hop) for 1st time

If you’re one of the lucky few to get tickets to watch Lionel Messi and Inter Miami FC take on the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night in Harrison and want to wear his now popular pink jersey to the game — you had better pick one up before you get to Red Bull Arena.

The team will sell Messi-branded Adidas shirts at its BULLshop store, but — as is custom — will not have the jersey of any of the opposing players, even if that includes the most famous player in the world.

Lionel Messi in Inter Miami FC’s pink jersey.

The Red Bulls will be promoting their 2023 third kit, known as the Freestyle Kit, which was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. (Buy it here.) The jersey is being worn in a game for the first time.

Red Bulls Art Director Kevin Maulbeck said the Freestyle Kit honors the legacy of the pioneering MCs, DJs, graffiti artists, breakers and beatboxers from New Jersey and New York.

“Hip-hop represents a global movement that spans 50 years and has seen many different styles and approaches,” Maulbeck said. “The Freestyle Kit design had to be raw and authentic. Our vision was to let all the imperfections show through, which, in turn, makes it perfect.”

Maulbeck talked about the intentionality of the design.

“We decided on focusing on one of the pillars of hip-hop — graffiti — more specifically, in this case, on the writing,” he said. “During the design process, we kept in mind the walls, doors and trains in our area covered in graffiti and stickers. When people see this jersey, it’s my hope that they think it is loud and true. The inspiration goes far beyond New York hip-hop, but, at its core, that’s exactly what it is: the local scene on display for the global audience.”

It’s unclear if the team is allowed to sell Messi jerseys or whether it just is choosing not to. A team spokesman offered that there will be plenty of options for those looking for items.

“It’s fair to say that the BULLshop will be fully stocked, including a variety of New York Red Bulls gear, the club’s new Freestyle Kit, the Messi/Adidas T-shirts and other items,” the spokesperson said.