McCann West to Launch Pelé Sports Brand Worldwide

Will association with soccer legend help marketer in a tough category?

Pelé Sports, which is betting the popularity of its iconic Brazilian soccer namesake will help it break out in a category dominated by marketing giants like Nike and Adidas, has signed McCann Erickson West to brand it worldwide. McCann’s S.F. office takes the lead on the business but will also work with network offices in Europe and Latin America. 

P-Sports, a Swiss company with U.S. headquarters in Aspen, Colo., was founded in 2009 and launched its first Pelé products, under license, last June just before the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. It is now distributed in more than 300 stores around the globe. 

McCann S.F. has been working with the agency’s European offices to create a campaign, “Play Free,” the retail portion of which will break in about a month. The rest of the campaign will roll out in the summer and fall. Marketing support behind the launch was not disclosed.

Pelé Sports is the first apparel/lifestyle account win at the agency's West Coast operations. Other wins over the past couple of years include IHOP, identity theft prevention company LifeLock, and financial instruments BlackRock’s iShares and Barclay’s iPath.