SBD/March 19, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Pele Capitalizing On Brazil Hosting World Cup With Multiple Endorsement Deals

Pele's brand is expected to generate $25M in revenue this year
Pele is now "taking what might be his last shot at profiting from his popularity," and with Brazil hosting this year’s FIFA World Cup in less than three months, the former player is "sweeping up endorsements like he did during his heyday," according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Pele in the last 18 months "signed agreements" with Procter & Gamble, Volkswagen, Emirates Airline and Subway, as well as an agreement with Coca-Cola to "show up at locations with the World Cup trophy." The Pele brand "will generate" $25M in revenue this year "from appearances, licensed merchandise, endorsements and a movie" about his life being made by Imagine Entertainment. Pele is the "majority partner" in Sport 10, a company created in '12 to "consolidate the rights to his brand." Legend 10 CEO Paul Kemsley, whose company acts an exclusive sales agent for Sport 10, said that the figure Pele generates "could go as high" as $100M by the time the '16 Rio Games are done. Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe, whose company also inked a deal with Pele, said that Hublot "is paying about $500,000 to associate with Pele." Hublot in return "was allowed to create" a limited-edition watch with a "likeness of Pele performing a bicycle kick." The company also is "planning an advertising campaign and has an agreement for five days’ worth of contact time with Pele." Selling Pele "is a precise operation," with endorsement opportunities "split into three categories: global, regional and national." Emirates on Jan. 16 "signed Pele as a global brand ambassador." England-based entrepreneur Patrick Nally said that after the World Cup, Pele's marketability "probably will wane." Nally: "This is the final swansong for brand Pele to make a significant impact" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 3/19).
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