NEW YORK—Iconic US soccer team the New York Cosmos has hired a retained PR agency to help it cut through a crowded metropolitan sports and entertainment market. 

The team, which now competes in the second tier North American Soccer League (NASL), hired Havas PR after meeting with several agencies over a period of months.

The New York Cosmos, best known for a glamorous 70s heyday that featured such stars as Pele and Franz Beckenbauer, revived its franchise last year. In the soccer market alone, it competes with MLS team New York Red Bulls, while New York FC — which is owned by England's Manchester CIty — will begin competing in the MLS next year.

New York Cosmos chief operating officer Erik Stover told the Holmes Report that the team is focusing on lifestyle and Hispanic outreach. 

"There’s an awful lot of competition in New York City on the soccer side — also, all professional sports and entertainment," said Stover. "It feels endless at times. Breaking through the clutter is quite a challenge for us. Having an agency like Havas with their connections and creative way of thinking is very helpful."

The New York Cosmos has also worked with SKD Knickerbocker, which has provided public affairs support for its stadium construction. Last year, meanwhile, M&C Saatchi PR supported a summer gala that honoured legendary Cosmos superstar Pele.

Packed with international stars, the Cosmos  attracted huge crowds to Giants Stadium until 1977, when Pele departed. The franchise disbanded eight years later, after pioneering soccer's arrival in the US.
Soccer has grown in popularity in the US, with the MLS sometimes boasting higher attendances than NBA and NHL games.