MediaCom Markets Brand Pele For World Cup, Olympics

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With two of the world’s biggest sporting events heading to Brazil in the next few years -- the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics -- MediaCom Sport has struck a new agreement to globally market and promote brand extensions for soccer legend Pele, one of the world’s best-known sports figures.  

Under the agreement, the WPP shop will help to arrange product endorsements, commercial appearances and other event and marketing opportunities for the iconic sports figure worldwide.

According to the agency, over 60 FIFA World Cup and Olympic sponsors will spend more than $2 billion on various marketing platforms in the run-up to those events.

Sports aside, another recent survey concluded that Brazil is the best country in South America in which to do business. The survey by Ernst & Young, of 250 executives at multinational companies, reported that 83% of respondents said Brazil’s business attractiveness would grow even stronger over the next three years.

Stephen Allan, MediaCom’s global CEO, stated that "Pelé changed the way the world plays [soccer], 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.”

Allan also said that Pele has an “incredible story to tell from the poverty of his upbringing to his humanitarian work” since retiring from the sport.  

Potentially, Pele could strike deals through a MediaCom Sport arrangement with some of the world’s biggest marketers, including Procter & Gamble, Dell and Volkswagen Group, among other agency clients. There is no word yet on specific agreements.

Mediacom Sport negotiated its agreement with Legends 10, the New York-based firm that is Pele’s exclusive global agent, for all intellectual property rights.

Pele, whose full given name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, is considered by many to be the best soccer player ever and the only player to win three World Cups. He spent most of his 22-year career playing in Brazil, but spent the last two years with the New York Cosmos, where he currently holds the title of honorary president. He retired as a player in 1977.

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