Pele, one of the most popular names in football, passed away on Thursday, leaving many footballers and fans alike feeling empty. He was truly an icon, and this particular incident from the 1970 FIFA World Cup as shared by American entrepreneur Joe Pompliano clearly justifies his legendary status. (More Football News)
Taking to Twitter, Pompliano explained a chain of events that caused a family feud after a breach of the "Pele pact" between siblings and founders of Adidas and Puma.
7) Before a 1970 World Cup quarter-final match between Brazil & Peru, Puma approached Pelé with a $120,000 offer — or $1 million once adjusted for inflation.— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) December 30, 2022
Puma requested Pelé walk to midfield seconds before kick-off and ask the official for time to tie his shoes.
8) As Pele approached midfield to tie his shoes, cameras zoomed in, and millions of people realized all at once:— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) December 30, 2022
Pelé was a Puma athlete.
The funniest part?
To ensure they got a close-up, Puma even paid the cameraman. pic.twitter.com/W2Z5oOVdO8
Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory had gained a reasonable reputation in the German market since its set up in 1924 by brothers Adolf and Rudolf Dassler. The brothers parted ways in 1940, as their relationship began showing cracks resulting in the founding of Adidas and Puma, respectively.
Football World Cups were the perfect opportunity for brands to grab eyes in the world market and a shot with Pele could send the sales soaring for any business.
Adidas and Puma, on the other hand, established something known as the "Pele Pact", the terms of which stated that neither company would associate with the Brazilian footballer for endorsement, as a bidding war would bankrupt both brands.
Puma, though, in 1970 would approach Pele offering him a staggering $120,000 just to tie his shoelaces seconds before kick-off ahead of Brazil's quarter-final match against Peru.
Puma would even pay the cameraman to capture Pele in the act and get a perfect shot of their shoes being advertised. Adidas would suffer a setback, as Puma's sales skyrocketed.
Brazil would win the match 4-2 and eventually the 1970 World Cup making Pele the only footballer to lift the trophy thrice.