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Yahoo signs David Beckham

Yahoo decides David Beckham is the best way it can enhance its profile during the World Cup. Beckham, who is not actually playing, will be the brand's "ambassador."

The brand has seen better days. Somehow, it seems to have slowed down, allowing others to pass it, while it pauses in the sunshine, deciding how next to make some money.

Yes, of course I'm talking about David Beckham. Such a renowned name. Yet, these days, he's renowned for just being David Beckham, rather than for any great achievement at his current club, the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Those of you with an excessively pragmatic bent will therefore be unsurprised that Beckham has gotten together with another fine brand of old, Yahoo. According to Reuters, Yahoo has announced that Beckham will be its brand "ambassador" during the World Cup, which begins Friday in South Africa.

In a cleverly worded and typically expansive statement, Beckham told Reuters: "Yahoo will allow me to interact one-on-one with as many football fans as possible talking about the game I love."

Yahoo's sports offering is gaining in strength. Its design is clear. Its editorial often incisive. And you might have noticed how even ESPN redesigned its own site not so long ago, giving it a far more Yahooish tinge.

He's just so ridiculously cute, no? CC Leezie 5/Flickr

It makes sense for Yahoo to continue expanding its sports strength by, for example, winning the exclusive rights to show the English Premier League online between 2010 and 2013.

Beckham, who is not playing in the World Cup because he has an injured Achilles tendon and is not quite good enough, will feature in the brand's marketing. During the World Cup, he will tell fans what it's like to play in the World Cup (Beckham appeared in the last three).

He will also be able to tell you what it's like to be red-carded, too, (in 1998) and survive national scorn before wearing a skirt and becoming something of an icon, even for men. You will also be able to ask Beckham questions on Yahoo's various outlets, though if he receives as many as I suspect, I cannot imagine how he will have the time to answer.

While Google has already signaled its own enthusiasm for the world's greatest sporting event by changing its Gooooogle at the bottom of searches for the World Cup to Goooooooal!, it will be interesting to see just how much more traffic Beckham can drive.

I will also be carefully watching to see just how closely Beckham chooses, as a brand ambassador, to resemble Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, who is fond of an expletive or two. (Well, one in particular.) Might Yahoo allow Beckham to use a little more street language for authenticity?

It could surely only make its World Cup offering even more exciting.

(Disclosure. And ad. I will be, and am already, blogging about the World Cup for CBS News.com. Please come over and say hello. For Americans, I have already posted a special World Cup guide to help you gain enthusiasm for the coming weeks of uncontrolled world joy.)