Vodafone signs David Beckham for another year

BREAKING NEWS - David Beckham has signed another 12-month contract with Vodafone and will play a significant role in a forthcoming advertising campaign for the mobile phone giant.

In June, Vodafone said Beckham's contract, reported to be worth £1m a year, was under consideration. This followed allegations that the footballer had had an affair with Rebecca Loos, his former PA. His lacklustre performance at Euro 2004, where he missed two crucial penalties, also raised doubts about his lucrative sponsorship deals.

However, the company today confirmed it had re-signed the England captain in a deal that began on July 1.

Adidas and Pepsi are other major Beckham sponsors. Gillette revealed it had signed a £40m global partnership with the star in the month the Loos scandal broke.

Beckham will continue to promote the Vodafone live! service and the company plans to create what it describes as a Beckham "content suite", including games and screen savers.

David Wheldon, the global director of marketing and brand communications at Vodafone, said: "We are very happy to have signed a new deal with David, which builds on the success of our partnership over the past two years.

"The Vodafone live! advertising campaigns featuring David were an integral part of the marketing programmes that ran in the UK, Spain and Japan during 2002-2004. We look forward to continuing to work successfully together."

Vodafone resisted the temptation to exploit its association with Beckham when Loos claimed he sent her explicit text messages. Several months later, the player made fun of the text-sex allegations during a BBC Sport Relief comedy sketch.

Beckham said: "I am pleased to be continuing my partnership with Vodafone. I am looking forward to working on some exciting projects in 2005 and building on the association."

Earlier today it was revealed that Beckham is extending his brand by creating soccer academies in London and Los Angeles with the help of sports marketing giant Anschutz Entertainment Group.

The England captain is to be the figurehead of the David Beckham Youth Soccer Academies and will select a team of top coaches and even provide teaching in between seasons.

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