Emirates extends sponsorship of New York Cosmos

Former star player Pele hails role of Dubai airline in the re-emergence of the US football team
Pele pictured during his Cosmos days in the 1970s.

Pele pictured during his Cosmos days in the 1970s.

Emirates Airline said it will sponsor the New York Cosmos for a further two years in a deal announced on Sunday.

Footballing superstar Pelé, who is honorary president of the club and was their star player in the 1970s, was present for the announcement at a press conference in Dubai.

Although Emirates’ shirt sponsorship only began in June 2013, the reformed New York Cosmos have become the airline’s most successful team in the past year, winning the Fall Championship and the Soccer Bowl in the US.

“It would seem the Emirates’ magic has worked again, said Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, the airline’s divisional senior vice president, Commercial Operations, Centre.

“The New York Cosmos’ progress is nothing short of meteoric and the extension of our sponsorship agreement enables this wonderful journey with Emirates to continue. As our cabin crew say ‘Welcome back on board.’”

“Emirates has played a big part in the reboot of the New York Cosmos,” Pelé said. “It’s wonderful that they’ll play a key role in the team’s future too and that we remain part of the Emirates’ soccer family.”

The New York Cosmos team arrived in Dubai last week for a training visit.

Pelé will kick off the 2014 home season with the New York Cosmos when he joins the team in New York for their match against the Atlanta Silverbacks on April 13.

The Cosmos hope to build a $400 million, 25,000-seat stadium at Belmont Park racetrack.

Last year, they entered a market that already has the Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls, who play in Harrison, New Jersey, and New York City FC, which is co-owned by Abu Dhabi's Manchester City and the New York Yankees.

As well as Pele, the old Cosmos side also featured greats such as Franz Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia.

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