Pelé set to be the global face of Brazil 2014 and Rio 2016
Thursday, 16 August 2012
August 16 - Pelé's profile, already skyhigh thanks to his position as the world's best-ever footballer, is set to rocket even higher after he signed a deal that will see him become the face of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The Brazilian has signed a four-year deal with MediaCom Sport that will see him feature in future advertising on a national, regional and global scale.
More than 60 sponsors will be looking to leverage brand recognition, estimated by MediaCom to be worth over $2 billion (£1.3 billion/€1.6 billion), in the run up to the World Cup and Olympics.
MediaCom represents $25 billion (£16 billion/€20 billion) advertising spend per year and works with global advertisers such as Procter & Gamble, Dell and Volkswagen Group and will help Pele strike a number of deals in the build-up to the two mega-events.
Pelé scored 77 goals in 92 appearances for Brazil and was a member of the team that won the World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
"Pelé changed the way the world plays football and this is a great opportunity for marketers to leverage one of the few genuine heroes in the world today, at a time when Brazil will be firmly in the sporting headlines," said Stephen Allan, the worldwide chairman and chief executive of MediaCom, which is part of the London-based WPP plc, the company founded by Martin Sorrell and which is the World's largest advertising company.
"Beyond his footballing achievements, Pele has an incredible story to tell from the poverty of his upbringing to his humanitarian work since he retired from professional sports."
Pelé appeared in the Closing Ceremony of London 2012 on Sunday (August 12) when the Olympic flag was passed to Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, marking the fact that the Brazilian city will be the next host.
He had also played a leading role in the successful bid when Rio were awarded the Olympics and Paralympics ahead of Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in October 2009.
"It is important for Brazil to be seen as a global player in light of the fantastic growth, development and regeneration that our nation has experienced," said Pelé.
"I am looking forward to representing my country on an international scale, at a time when Brazil is in the spotlight and at its most critical economic and social turning point."
August 2012: Pelé surprises London 2012 Closing Ceremony crowd with Rio 2016 handover performance