Umbro has announced that it will be the leading kit supplier for the newly reformed New York Cosmos soccer club, made famous in the 1970s, as much for their star-studded fans off the pitch as the players on the pitch.
One of the most famous players from The New York Cosmos’ past and now its Honorary President, Pelé, has spoken about his time with the team and his hopes for the rebirth of the club, “I am very happy to be involved with The New York Cosmos again. I have the opportunity to come back and work to revive the Cosmos and promote football in the United States. Now, I want to see my dreams come true of kids learning football in the right way.”
It was 33 years to this exact day when Pele played in the very last match of his professional career. In celebration of this victorious day, and to commemorate his upcoming 70th birthday on October 23rd, Pele sits down for an exclusive interview with FourFourTwo magazine. Speaking in the November issue of the magazine, Pelé speaks about the excitement around the original club, “When we started to win, we had a really big bunch of names in the crowd: movie stars, sports stars, pop stars, politicians, artists….Robert Redford, Muhammad Ali and Mick Jagger all came. Andy Warhol, Elton John, Henry Kissinger too – every game, there was someone there. It was fantastic.”
As part of the club’s rebirth, Umbro has applied its celebrated football-tailoring ethos to a new on-field performance and off-field lifestyle line for The New York Cosmos club. The white home shirt, with the unique green and yellow collar, will be available in December (£49/$75). It’s inspired by the one worn by its star players in 1977, including Pelé, but with the performance benefits of a modern football shirt. The wider range, including the green walkout jacket worn by Pelé on the cover of FourFourTwo, will be available in February 2011 (£70/$100) with further apparel and equipment pieces in the pipeline, all inspired by the legacy and promise of The New York Cosmos.
Trevor Cairns, Chief Marketing Officer for Umbro International commented, “Umbro was a partner of The New York Cosmos during the 1970s when they were unquestionably the world’s coolest football club. It’s a great opportunity to once again be involved with the club and we are committed to working with them to develop world-class soccer players worthy to wear the legendary New York Cosmos crest. From the reaction we’ve had from the few people who’ve seen the line, we’re confident it will become a modern day classic.”
Relaunched in August 2010, The New York Cosmos is committed to helping improve the future of football with significant investment in grassroots and youth football and providing elite coaching philosophies and training opportunities.
The New York Cosmos has already launched two elite youth academies, Cosmos Academy East (in New York) and Cosmos Academy West (in Los Angeles) with former Major League Soccer stars Giovanni Savarese and Teddy Chronopoulos appointed as Academy Directors, respectively. Both academies participate in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
Furthermore, The New York Cosmos has acquired the Copa NYC tournament, and beyond running it every year in New York, they will be looking to expand it both domestically and internationally in order to engage more local communities to participate in the ‘global game’ at a grassroots level.
Paul Kemsley, Chairman of The New York Cosmos commented, “We are excited about our kit deal with Umbro – namely because we both strongly embrace the heritage of the beautiful game, and are excited about its future here in New York City and throughout the United States. The New York Cosmos will be much more than just a soccer club. The best way to describe it is a movement, for the advancement of soccer across the world.”
The full interview with Pelé and the management team behind the club’s rebirth can be seen in the November issue of the UK edition of FourFourTwo (on sale October 4th).
The New York Cosmos home shirt will be available from December.