OAK BROOK, IL - Long recognized as the celebrity autograph marker of choice, Sharpie® brand is partnering with one of the world's most recognizable celebrities, global sports star David Beckham. Beckham, whose autograph is among the most sought-after in the world, will become Sharpie's global ambassador in a fully integrated global marketing campaign that rolls out initially in the United States in early March. Sharpie, a flagship brand of Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid, will leverage Beckham's status as an international sports star to increase awareness of Sharpie not only as the preferred autograph marker, but also its many creative uses. "Like the Sharpie brand, David embodies individuality and creative expression," said Sharpie global business unit president Howard Heckes. "He is the rare athlete who transcends nationality and sport to command worldwide attention, making him the perfect ambassador for Sharpie marker users who are as passionate about the bold mark of a Sharpie as they are about the colors, variety and almost limitless uses of the product." Heckes says the deal will feature Beckham in a global marketing campaign in key regions around the world, including North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific. "I have always enjoyed signing autographs for people, especially since I used to love getting my heroes' signatures when I was younger," said David Beckham. "I love to use Sharpie markers, so it's a natural choice for me to partner with them." Complete details of the Sharpie-Beckham campaign, which will also include print and online advertising, promotional and in-store support, will be announced in May. The Sharpie® brand has a long history of sports sponsorships in the United States. Among the top-name athletes Sharpie has previously partnered with 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, permanent mark.