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Soccer star Beckham kicks off Motorola promotion

Athlete will appear with cell phones, including the new red Moto Slvr, proceeds from which will go to fighting AIDS in Africa.

International soccer star David Beckham has inked a deal to promote Motorola handsets around the world, the company announced Tuesday.

The three-year agreement with Beckham will kick off with advertising appearances and retail promotions in Asia. Motorola will embed exclusive Beckham content--such as screen savers and video clips of the star in action--in Motorola handsets.

The 31-year-old soccer star plays professionally for Spain's Real Madrid football team. He is also captain of the English national team, now competing in the World Cup being played in Germany. He gained fame and notoriety outside soccer when he married former Spice Girl Victoria Adams in July 1999.

Beckham is expected to start his role as Motorola spokesman immediately and will be seen carrying Motorola products during the World Cup tournament.

As part of the deal, Beckham will also promote the newly launched red Moto Slvr phone, a red version of the ultrathin Moto Slvr phone. Part of the proceeds from the sale of these phones and consumers' monthly cell phone bills go into the Red fund, which was started by U2 rocker Bono and former President John F. Kennedy's nephew Bobby Shriver to help eliminate AIDS in Africa.

Beckham has long supported UNICEF, and in January 2005 became a goodwill ambassador for the organization with a special focus on its Sports for Development program. He has also contributed time and energy to tsunami and hurricane relief efforts.

"We're very excited about this collaboration for ourselves, our customers and our consumers," Jeremy Dale, vice president of retail marketing at Motorola Mobile Devices, said in a statement. "David Beckham is a global icon and we look forward to working with him across a range of projects."