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May 7, 2013
LONDON - Global football legend Pelé has been signed as Brand Ambassador for one of the world's biggest automotive brands, Volkswagen - a leadership role that will see Pelé representing the company during the 2014 FIFA World Cup and in the period leading up to the 2016 Summer Olympics, both of which will be held in his native Brazil.
The deal was negotiated by Legends 10, exclusive global agent to Pelé, in conjunction with MediaCom Sport.
The first element of a campaign celebrating 60 years of Volkswagen in Brazil will feature Pelé leading a group of famous Brazilian football icons including Roberto Rivellino (Rivellino), Raí Souza Vieira de Oliveira (Rai), Lucas Rodrigues Moura da Silva (Lucas) and Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (Neymar).
A kick-off commercial titled "Inova Neymar" will reflect on the innovations of and historic parallels between Volkswagen and Brazilian football, from Pelé representing the era in which the small, economical VW Beetle ("Fusca" in Portuguese) was launched, through to Neymar, Jr. representing current models and the future of Volkswagen. Later elements of the campaign will include distinctive print media and a new Volkswagen YouTube channel designed to highlight the brand's technology and innovation.
Pelé will also represent the brand in everyday life, driving Volkswagen vehicles and participating in special events. Volkswagen has a strong tradition of supporting football in general and particularly in Brazil where it has sponsored the Brazil National Team since 2009.
"As a Brazilian, I am proud to be an Ambassador for a brand like Volkswagen. In the past 60 years, the company has delivered many innovations, and provided support for millions of Brazilian families. My own 'business objective' has always been to score and, with Volkswagen, I am playing on a winning team," said Pelé.
"In a successful company, you must have a clear business vision or, as they say in football, 'a precise and powerful kick' and an ability to 'dribble past your competition,'" said Thomas Schmall, Chairman of Volkswagen do Brasil. "We are amazingly fortunate to have a winning team of engaged employees and appealing products: a cast of great stars that, like Pelé, has made and continues to make history in the world of football."
"Simply put, no-one could represent 60 years of VW in Brazil better than Pelé, the greatest athlete of the century," said Marcus John, Global Head of MediaCom Sport. "By connecting Pelé to the world's leading automotive company, we have brought together two global iconic brands."