Sharpie teams with Beckham for global promotion

OAK BROOK, IL: Sharpie has partnered with international soccer star, David Beckham, for the largest integrated global marketing program in the 47-year history of the company.

OAK BROOK, IL: Sharpie has partnered with international soccer star, David Beckham, for the largest integrated global marketing program in the 47-year history of the company.

Sharpie, makers of permanent markers and other writing instruments, will leverage Beckham's star power to generate worldwide brand awareness for the company and to aid in the launch of two new products in the US. The company has targeted North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific for its efforts.

Beckham, player for the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team, will be involved in all aspects of the campaign. An online promotion, Write Out Loud with Sharpie and Win, is planned whereby fans log on to their country-specific Sharpie site and submit images of artwork they've created using Sharpie writing instruments. Beckham will select a winner in each country, who will have the opportunity to meet him in December 2009. The company will work with Beckham through that same year.

“We have a strong brand in the US as a base to launch a global campaign,” said Mike Finn, director of PR and eMarketing for Sharpie. “We have high awareness in the US. The challenge is to generate awareness around the world. [Beckham] is playing ambassador for the brand.”

For the campaign, Sharpie will stick with its “Write Out Loud” tagline, which they say has worldwide resonance, even if elements of the execution shift according to geography.

“It stems from consumer passion for using Sharpie markers,” said Finn. “An autograph is just one use. There's everything from customizing backpacks, shoes, a work of art, or simply writing on paper. It rings true in every market.”

Weber Shandwick is the AOR for Sharpie. The firm is developing the global strategy for positioning Beckham with the brand and tapping local agencies and branches of Weber around the world to execute the strategy.

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