NEW YORK — Move over, Christina. Carrie’s stepping into your shoes.

Skechers, the Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based footwear brand, has signed “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood to a global endorsement deal. She is the company’s third celebrity partner; the first was Britney Spears and the second, more recently, Christina Aguilera.

With exclusive worldwide rights to advertise the brand’s footwear using Underwood’s image through December 2006, Skechers will feature the 22-year-old singer in Skechers footwear in several scenes that reflect her interests.

The campaign, launching in fall fashion and lifestyle magazines as well as on billboards and at mall kiosks beginning in September, will coincide with the “American Idols Live! Tour 2005” and the debut of Underwood’s country album, set to be released in November on 19 Recordings/Arista.

Underwood, who hails from Oklahoma, became the new “American Idol” after more than 500 million votes were cast during the season. The show had more than 30 million viewers in the U.S. alone and was shown in numerous countries around the world. And with Underwood’s recording career off to a fast start with a number-one single, “Inside Your Heaven,” Skechers chose her for her global star power.

“The mix of fashion and music is essential to both our industries and truly benefits the stars and the brands associated with them,” said Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers, in a statement. “For this reason, we have invested in such phenomenal stars as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and, now, Carrie Underwood.”

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