Emirates airline, an Official FIFA Worldwide Partner, has announced Brazilian football legend Pelé will be one of its Global Ambassadors.
Coinciding with the highly-anticipated FIFA World Cup 2014, hosted 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.
The partnership was announced at a media conference in Dubai, which brought Pelé to the home of Emirates 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.
HH 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 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.”