Thirty-one years after playing in India with a cosmos of stars, Pele has renewed links with the country inking a $62 million deal. The man who forced a break in a war and once kept the Shah of Iran waiting will be the inspiration for a new 3D animation film on football jointly produced by the Chandigarh-based Compact Disc India (CDI) Limited and his management firm Prime Licensing.
CDI chairman Suresh Kumar told HT over phone that the thrice World Cup winner would also be the film’s executive producer. It would be inspired by the life of the Brazilian legend, chosen ‘Athlete of the Century’ by the International Olympic Council.
“We signed the deal on Dec 5. We are in the process of finalising. We are also looking to rope in other players from Brazil for the project,” Kumar said.
CDI and Prime Licensing, a firm set up solely to manage worldwide licensing rights of brand Pele, would have a revenue-sharing arrangement model and the deal, Kumar said, also includes developing multi-platform games and merchandise and would have a budget of $62 million.
Prime Licensing's Chief Executive Officer Paulo Ferreira said the deal was part of their endeavour to reinforce the emotional link between Pele and the world, in the process establishing a connect with India. “Pele has strong values and attributes to share with Indians, especially the young generation," he told HT in an e-mail.
Perreira said the plot would be "around and about him (Pele)" and that the star would be involved from the conceptualisation stage. "Our first meeting with Pele will be in the 3rd week of January," he added.
Kumar said the venture would be up and running in 18 months. "We are targeting the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals to launch the games and even the film and I am sure we can achieve that target," he added.