December 15, 2008 12:16 ET

Football Legend Pele Signs With IMG

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 15, 2008) - IMG Licensing, a division of global sports and entertainment company IMG and Prime Licensing, the Brazilian company that acquired the exclusive global rights to license the football legend and superstar Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele), announced today that they have joined forces for the worldwide marketing and licensing of the legendary Brazilian footballer's name and likeness.

IMG Executive Vice President Bruno Maglione commented, "With next year's Confederation Cup and subsequent World Cup in South Africa in 2010, interest in soccer is on the path to reach its quadrennial fever pitch; as the only player to have ever won 3 World Cups, it is a good time to re-introduce audiences around the world to the timeless attributes of Pele -- the footballer, the athlete and the global goodwill ambassador. IMG will be seeking partners across a wide range of product licensing, co-branding and advertising endorsement areas both football and non-football related."

"No player before or since has ever personified the passion and spirit of 'the beautiful game'; those attributes and values represented by Pele have, if anything, grown in importance in recent years as we try to re-capture the fundamental principles which make football the world's most popular sport," said Paulo Ferreira President of Prime Licensing. "And we know that IMG is best positioned to take advantage of the tremendous and renewed interest in the compelling football story, as well as life story of Pele."

The Athlete of the Century, UN World Citizen, UNESCO Ambassador, 3-time World Cup winner known simply as "O Rei" (the King) put it this way: "I am very excited and looking forward to working with IMG to continue being involved in the sport I love and the causes which are important to me. IMG's worldwide reputation and long track record with the greatest athletes, sports teams and federations is exactly what I was looking for in a partner and I am pleased that Prime and IMG will be working together to help me achieve my objectives."

About IMG Sports & Entertainment

Operating in 30 countries, IMG Sports & Entertainment's diverse businesses include: product and brand licensing; consulting services; event ownership and management; fashion events and models representation; golf course design; and client representation in golf, tennis, broadcasting, speakers, European football, rugby, cricket, motor sports, coaching, Olympic and action sports. IMG Academies are the world's largest, multi-sport training and educational facilities, delivering world-class training experiences to more than 12,000 junior, collegiate, adult, and professional athletes each year. More information is available at

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