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Susan Wassel

David Beckham Trades Autographs with Fans in New Sharpie Marker Ads

Posted on July 06, 2008

OAK BROOK, IL USA - Sharpie® markers debuts its global print and TV advertising this week featuring soccer superstar David Beckham, just as the first-ever Sharpie® Pen hits store shelves. The popular autograph brand, which earlier this year announced a two-year global partnership with Beckham, expects to score big with the new ads - and with the new Sharpie Pen, the first Sharpie designed for writing that doesn't bleed through paper. The TV spot, set to air in select markets around the world starting in July, shows Beckham using various Sharpie markers to autograph a variety of unusual items for fans. When the time comes to return the Sharpie marker to its owner, Beckham resists. Ultimately, his quick moves and clever thinking lead to a happy ending for all, but in the process, viewers get a good laugh - and a good look - at Beckham. The ad launches in the United States on Monday, July 7 on networks including Bravo, TBS, TLC, HGTV, USA, TNT, ABC Family and more. "I'm pleased to work with Sharpie as a partner," said Beckham. "It seems natural as I use their markers regularly to sign autographs. I had great fun doing the ad and I hope everyone enjoys it." Sharpie, a flagship brand of Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid, launched a teaser ad campaign in early March that left viewers wanting more. It showed only a hand presumed to be Beckham's signing a golf ball. "We received a lot of feedback on that ad," said Howard Heckes, Sharpie Global Business Unit President. "Everybody said they wanted to see more of Beckham. These new ads deliver, showing him in a way people haven't seen before while also staying true to Sharpie's history of bold, humorous ads that get noticed." The print ads were shot by renowned photographer Anthony Mandler, who has captured several other celebrities on film, including Matt Damon, Eva Mendez, and Sharon Stone. His photos have graced the covers of major magazines such as Entertainment Weekly, Esquire and ESPN. The TV spots were directed by Simon Cole. The Sharpie print and TV ads were developed by Young & Rubicam's Brand Buzz agency based in New York. The print ads are scheduled to appear in such well-known publications as O The Oprah Magazine, Parents, People, Real Simple, Redbook and more. "The Sharpie brand has strong awareness in the United States, and our partnership with Beckham elevates our brand for a more global footprint around the world," said Heckes. "Now that we've introduced our partnership, we're ready to unveil this next round of ads which make light of the Beckham autograph experience in a way we think will resonate with Sharpie marker fans everywhere." Sharpie Kicks Off Global Promotion, Web Site and More The Sharpie brand partnership with Beckham includes a fully integrated global marketing campaign in key regions around the world, including North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific. The campaign includes advertising, in-store displays, and a revamped global Web site. It also includes a consumer promotion encouraging people to "Write Out Loud with Sharpie & Win" for a chance to meet David Beckham in person. The promotion launches in select markets this summer, and is scheduled to launch in the United States in November. New Sharpie® Pen While the Sharpie brand has long been associated with high-quality permanent markers, the new Sharpie Pen, available exclusively in North America, is the first Sharpie developed for everyday writing. The Sharpie Pen doesn't bleed through paper and is perfect for thank-you notes, journaling, and note-taking at home, work and school. It is available wherever office products are sold. The Sharpie® brand appeals to a wide variety of fans and has a long history of sports sponsorships in the United States. Among the top-name athletes who have previously partnered with the Sharpie brand are NASCAR's Dale Earnhardt Jr., Pro Football wide receiver Terrell Owens, Pro Football Hall of Famers Steve Young and Howie Long, and legendary golfers Arnold Palmer and Gary Player. Many athletes use Sharpie markers to sign autographs because they leave a bold mark. For more information on the Sharpie-Beckham partnership, go to ABOUT SHARPIE® For 45 years, Sharpie has been the popular brand of permanent marker associated with the autograph experience. Newell Rubbermaid's Office Products Group, maker of Sharpie® markers, is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing and marketing of writing instruments, art products and office organization and technology products, including such well known brands as Paper Mate®, Sharpie®, DYMO® Parker®, Waterman®, EXPO®, uni-ball®, and Rolodex®, among others. Visit for more information.