Brazilian soccer legend Pelé is suing Samsung for $30 million in a lawsuit that claims the electronics company used a lookalike of his image in a newspaper ad to promote its televisions, without paying for endorsement rights, the Financial Times reports.
The ad in question appeared in The New York Times last October and does not directly refer to Pelé. However, the lawsuit says the Samsung ad shows a man who “very closely resembles” the Brazilian soccer player, as well as the image of another player performing a “modified bicycle or scissor-kick, perfected and famously used by Pelé,” according to the FT.
See the ad in the tweet below:
Samsung had been in negotiation with Pelé to use his image in 2013, but that the deal broke down and Samsung “never obtained the right to use Pelé’s identity in any manner or in any format,” the lawsuit says, according to the FT.
A representative from Samsung declined to comment on the case when contacted by Business Insider.
The complaint, brought by Pelé’s lawyer Frederick Sperling, said that the ad hurt the value of the retired sports star’s endorsement rights — his main source of income.
Pelé has several endorsement deals with large companies including Subway, Volkswagen, and Emirates. He earned $25 million from endorsements in 2014, according to the FT.
“The goal is to obtain fair compensation for the unauthorised use of Pelé’s identity, and to prevent future unauthorised uses,” Sperling told Fortune.
Sperling previously helped basketball player Michael Jordan win $8.9 million from supermarket chain Dominick’s, after it used Jordan’s name without permission in a magazine ad.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.