Gillette confirms multimillion-pound deal with Beckham

LONDON - Gillette has confirmed it has signed a multimillion-pound three-year deal with David Beckham, which is believed to be worth considerably less than the £40m reported last month.

In April, it was being widely reported that Beckham had signed what was understood to be a £40m record-breaking deal with Gillette, which would have been the biggest in British advertising history.

Details have been announced just ahead of Euro 2004 and days after Beckham attacked the press for the way it had treated him and his family over the reporting of his two alleged affairs.

Gillette said that the exclusive three-year marketing agreement will see the England captain feature in the shaving firm's worldwide consumer advertising and promotional campaigns.

Gillette did not reveal any financial details of the deal with Beckham, which was negotiated by the footballer's management team, Simon Fuller's 19, but spokeswoman Michelle Szynal said it was nowhere near the $70m first reported in London last month.

Commenting on the new deal, Beckham said that had always tried to associate himself with the best brands.

"Gillette is a brand that everyone respects and I'm looking forward to being part of its business for several years. I get many offers for commercial associations, but I only ever consider the ones that I feel are right. I have always tried to associate myself with the best brands, as my existing relationships with Adidas and Pepsi show," he said.

Beckham's first work for Gillette will debut next month to capitalise on the publicity generated around the Euro 2004 football championships in Portugal, which start on June 12.

Peter K Hoffman, president of blades and razors at Gillette, said: "Gillette is known as 'The Best a Man Can Get' and David Beckham is seen by millions as the best a man can be. He is an established international icon and one of the world's best and most recognisable sports figures. We intend to globally market him as Gillette's stylish, well-groomed man."

The deal is confirmation that, despite much negative publicity surrounding his alleged extramartial affairs with Rebecca Loos and Sarah Marbeck, the Beckham brand and the Beckham bank balance has not been damaged.

News of the deal follows reports in Marketing that David and Victoria Beckham are set to add to their merchandising millions with the creation of an umbrella brand called Liberation.

Liberation is to operate as an overarching brand for all of the Beckhams' commercial ventures, including fashion, music, film and sport.

It is expected that the brand will be unveiled globally later this summer, manifesting itself first with the debut of Victoria Beckham's fashion label.

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