David Beckham, the England soccer captain and international ”style icon,” has signed a three-year marketing agreement to promote Gillette razors and blades.
The 29-year-old Real Madrid midfielder will be featured in Gillette’s worldwide consumer advertising and promotional campaigns for its grooming products.
The Gillette Co. did not reveal financial terms, but spokeswoman Michelle Szynal said it was nowhere near the $70 million (40 million pounds) that had been rumored in London.
“He’s a real guy’s guy,” she said of Beckham. “He’s the epitome of a well-groomed guy, but also a sports legend.
“It’s a good deal for us and for David Beckham.”
Ads of Beckham using Gillette’s new M3Power micro-powered shaving system will appear in newspapers and magazines, on billboards and on TV, in a “Feeling of Gillette” campaign starting in July in Europe and later in the United States.
Beckham, who played in Spain for Real Madrid last season after winning several English Premier League titles with Manchester United, is one of the most recognizable soccer stars in the world. He was mobbed by schoolgirls during the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.
Since marrying Spice Girl “Posh,” he has appeared almost as often in the celebrity magazines and tabloids for his fashion sense, which even stretched to wearing a dress-like sarong in 1998. He has sported a pony-tail or a Mohawk and has often played with his head shaved or his hair dyed red or orange.
“He never keeps the same look for long,” said Szynal. “He knows what looks good.”
Despite the fact that soccer is not so big in the United States as in the rest of the world, Szynal said Beckham’s celebrity and global appeal was a key factor. Americans who know nothing about soccer, know his name from the recent hit movie “Bend it Like Beckham,” she added.
“Gillette is a brand that everyone respects and I’m looking forward to being part of their business for several years,” the player said in a statement. “I get many offers for commercial associations, but I only ever consider the ones that I feel are right.”
In fact, Beckham is not the first soccer star to become an advertising icon in America. A huge billboard of Freddie Ljungberg, who stars for English champions Arsenal, recently loomed over New York’s Times Square, featuring the Swedish midfielder in nothing more than a pair of Calvin Klein briefs.
After captaining England in the European Championships in Portugal next month, Beckham will join his club, Real Madrid, on a tour of North America. Coincidentally, one of its matches is scheduled for Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.