By  on April 15, 2005

PARIS — Coty Inc. has just scored a new high-profile spokesman.

The beauty company inked a long-term licensing agreement with soccer star Zinedine Zidane to be the first global spokesman for Adidas beauty. He will be the face for the Adidas Active Skincare for Men line and is to represent Adidas’ antiperspirants for men.

The announcement confirms a report appearing in these pages on March 1.

Zidane — among soccer’s leading players today — was chosen as the embodiment of the brand, Coty executives said.

“He is a natural choice to be the face of Adidas Active Skincare,” said Bernd Beetz, chief executive officer of Coty, in a statement. “He has flair and style on and off the pitch, alongside a rare and exciting sporting talent; qualities that resonate with men throughout the world today.”

“Zinedine Zidane is a long-term icon for young people all across the world,” continued Steve Mormoris, senior vice president, international marketing, at Coty Beauty Europe, adding that Zidane has “global” and “multicultural” appeal.  

The first print advertisement featuring Zidane will break in April, and the athlete’s images also will appear on in-store displays. Zidane himself will be at some press events, too.

The Zidane signing comes amid a major makeover at Adidas, Coty’s top-netting brand, which is 20 years old.

While company executives would not discuss Adidas’ sales, industry sources estimate the beauty brand generates more than $500 million in retail business a year. It reportedly clocks double-digit growth.

“It’s the biggest year for launches for Adidas,” said Mormoris.

Part of the drive is meant for Adidas to build muscle in the antiperspirant segment, where the main competition comes from Nivea and Dove for women and Rexona and Sanex for men.

Starting this month, Adidas is introducing a spate of products tested on athletes. These include the reformulated, repackaged and extended Active Skincare for Men collection, introduced last year. Along with other new items, the line includes two products targeting men with sensitive skin: Face Wash gel and Face Cream.

There are also new items for Adidas’ Personal Care line, including a hair and body shower gel and a moisturizing shower gel. The three spray deodorants in the collection include nonwhitening formulas.

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