Emirates airline, an Official Fifa Worldwide Partner, on Thursday announced that Brazilian football legend Pelé will be one of its Global Ambassadors.
Coinciding with the highly-anticipated Fifa World Cup, hosted this summer in Brazil, Emirates has partnered with Pelé on its global campaign to showcase the connections that Emirates creates between people, places and passions around the world - through its sponsorship of sports, as well as its operations as an airline.
As part of the agreement the two parties will work together on a number of initiatives over the coming months. This announcement marks the second time the airline has worked with a Global Ambassador to complement its Fifa World Cup campaign, the first being Franz Beckenbauer during the 2006 tournament in Germany. Partnering with such prominent sports figures, like Pelé, allows Emirates amplify and bring to life the many ways sports inspires and unites people and ideas around the world.
Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Emirates airline, said: “Pelé is a global icon. He is recognised, respected, and an inspiration to people around the world. He represents the best values of ‘the beautiful game’ of football, not only because he was a great player, but also because he uses the power of sports to connect people – with each other, with communities, and with opportunities. In many ways, Pelé stands for the same values that Emirates does. He is the ideal choice for our Global Ambassador and we are thrilled that we will be partnering with him.”
Emirates is also linked to Pelé through the airline’s sponsorship of the Cosmos team in New York City, where he is honorary chairman. Announced in 2013, the New York Cosmos sponsorship marked Emirates’ first foray into football in the USA.
Pelé said: “Emirates is one of the most outstanding brands in global sports today. Having just flown on Emirates’ A380 from Zurich to Dubai, I can say from personal experience that it is also an outstanding airline. It would be great if Emirates would fly the A380 to Brazil for the Fifa World Cup™! My flight was very comfortable and it was delightful to be onboard with their helpful and friendly staff. And with such an international mix of passengers, Emirates is truly a global airline just like the global game of football. Emirates is a proud supporter of sports around the world, and I am honoured to be its Global Ambassador.”
Pelé first visited the UAE in 1973 when Santos - his club at the time - played against Dubai club Al Nasr. He passed through Dubai twice after that – his most recent time being just over five years ago.
On this visit to Dubai, Pelé also remarked on the tremendous growth of the city and its achievements. He said: “Dubai has made a name for itself on the international stage. It has changed so much from when I first visited in the ‘70s. I see a thriving city with great infrastructure for tourism and business, capable of welcoming the world and connecting with the world. My wish is that the Fifa World Cup™ will help unleash and showcase this same potential for Brazil.”
Also known as Brazil’s king of football, Pelé is one of the most famous and admired football legends globally. A spectacular career saw Pelé thrive at International and club level and is recorded as the only man to lift three World Cup titles, in 1958, 1962 and 1970, the first at just 17 years old.
Accolades continued throughout his career and after retirement, including being declared a national treasure by the Brazilian President in 1961, being honoured by the Guinness World Records for the most career goals scored in football, and jointly receiving with Maradona, the one-off Fifa Player of the Century award in 2000. Earlier this week, he was awarded the Fifa Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur for his lifetime achievements.
An official Fifa Partner since 2006, Emirates has been involved with the Fifa Women’s World Cup, the Fifa U20 and U17 World Cup, as well as the Fifa World Cup™– including the upcoming 2014 event in Brazil.
Operating daily flights from Dubai to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Emirates is expected to transport over 18,000 passengers during the month-long tournament this year. The airline connects Brazil and the South American continent to the world, facilitating trade and tourism with air transport links beyond Dubai to the Far East, Australia, the Middle East and Africa.