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Vodafone sticks with Beckham

Signs new year-long contract

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Vodafone has signed a new one-year advertising deal with footballer David Beckham that will see the creation of a "David Beckham content suite" on Vodafone Live!, the company's consumer portal.

This is Money reports that Beckham will be the face of Vodafone's consumer 3G service, which is currently in trials. The full commercial launch is expected later in the year.

The Beckham camp says that the Voda deal is worth £6m - a substantial increase on his previous contract, thought to be worth £2m a year. However, other reports suggest the figure is closer to £1m.

As well as the new content development, which will include games and screen savers, the deal covers the use of Beckham's image in upcoming advertising campaigns. Beckham is extremely popular in Japan, and Vodafone hopes the continued partnership will boost its sales in the region in particular.

The deal is also good news for Beckham. The footballer's contract with the mobile operator ended in May this year, and when it was not renewed immediately, speculation mounted that his image had been irreparably damaged by the Rebecca Loos scandal.

However, with the non-renewal of a £2m contract with Marks&Spencer representing the only blip on an otherwise spotless sponsorship sheet, it looks like the Real Madrid star has emerged unscathed. ®

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