Gillette Signs Three Sports Giants for Global Effort

Tiger Woods Part of Trio to Possibly Replace Beckham's Worldwide Appeal

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Roger Federer, Tierry Henry and Tiger Woods.
BATAVIA, Ohio ( -- Procter & Gamble Co.'s Gillette has signed three sports titans -- U.S. golfer Tiger Woods, Swiss-born tennis champion Roger Federer and French-born soccer star Tierry Henry -- as part of its new Gillette Champions program, the brand's largest current global sports-marketing initiative.

Replacements for Beckham?
The deal gives Gillette a trio of sports powers to possibly replace British soccer star David Beckham, whose endorsement deal with the brand expires later this year. While his move to the Los Angeles Galaxy has boosted Mr. Beckham's U.S. marketing cachet, it dimmed his appeal as a global Gillette spokesman, according to people familiar with the matter.

Gillette spokespeople declined to comment on how new sign-ups would affect Mr. Beckham's contract or on how much the athletes will be paid, but the deal's outlay would appear to put it north of Mr. Beckham's current deal -- which one person close to the company pegged at $4 million to $5 million in this, its final year.

P&G said the Gillette Champions program is scheduled to roll out in more than 150 countries in its first year, incorporating TV, print and online advertising, consumer and retail promotions and public relations programs. Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide and Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group handle Gillette male shaving brands in most of the world, including the U.S.

'Sports and style'
In a statement, Chip Bergh, president-global grooming of Gillette, said the three were chosen for their performance both on and off the field. "They set the standard in sports and style," he said.

Four-time Masters champion Mr. Woods has been named PGA Player of the Year seven times. Mr. Federer has been the top-ranked men's tennis player globally for three straight years, with 10 Grand Slam titles. And Mr. Henry is the top goal scorer in the history of Britain's Arsenal Football Club.
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