NEW YORK (AP) — With Pele looking on, the revived New York Cosmos signed a jersey sponsorship contract with Emirates Airline as the team prepares to start play in the second-tier North American Soccer League this summer.
The 72-year-old, the team's honorary president, arrived a half-hour late for the news conference at a Manhattan.
Featuring stars such as Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia, the Cosmos played in the old NASL from 1971-84 and folded in 1985.
The relaunched team, run by CEO Seamus O'Brien, starts play at Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y., on Aug. 3 against Fort Lauderdale. The Cosmos hope to construct a $400 million, 25,000-seat stadium at Belmont Park racetrack.
Emirates Air also is the jersey sponsor of Arsenal, AC Milan, Hamburg, Paris Saint-Germain and, starting next season, Real Madrid.