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Building It Like Beckham: Soccer Star Signs Biotherm Deal

David Beckham will be the face of Biotherm and cocreate a collection of men's grooming products that will come out next year.

David Beckham keeps constructing his global lifestyle brand — and Biotherm is the latest partner.

The Paris-based, L’Oréal-owned company will launch a two-phase deal that begins with the soccer star’s Biotherm Homme brand ambassadorship. In the coming months, he will appear as the face of the brand’s best-selling Aquapower Gel moisturizer and the Force Supreme range in digital, print and TV media.

The second phase is even more ambitious: The beauty firm will launch a complete grooming and skin-care collection cocreated by Beckham that will live under the Biotherm Homme umbrella. The range, comprised of skin and body products, has been in development since early this year.

“I’ve been thinking about developing a skin-care range for a long time and it wasn’t until I started speaking with Biotherm that it all came together,” Beckham said of the products, which are slated to come out in 2017.

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This is Beckham’s second beauty deal following an ongoing partnership with Coty that began in 2005 with the launch of his first fragrance, Instinct.

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Beauty and grooming are key planks of Beckham’s strategy to build his own brand, akin to what his wife Victoria has done with her fashion and beauty collections — last month, Victoria Beckham signed a color cosmetics deal with The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. Last year, David Beckham formed Seven Global, a 50-50 joint venture between himself and his partner Simon Fuller with Global Brands Group Holding Ltd. to grow a lifestyle brand. As part of that, Beckham has signed a five-year deal with British men’s wear brand Kent & Curwen to play a multifaceted role in updating the company’s collections and turning it into a truly global player.

Under the Biotherm deal, Beckham will go to Paris to meet with researchers at the L’Oréal labs in the coming weeks and there have already been development meetings in London, said David Fridlevski, general manager of Biotherm, who insisted that Beckham’s role is hardly limited to branding.

“The range is going to be targeted to his [Beckham’s] needs in skin care and grooming in general. He really wants to be part of the development,” Fridlevski told WWD, noting that development of skin care takes at least 16 months and sometimes up to 24 months.

He added: “Men who are 25 to 30 years old have a relationship to their skin and appearance that is less linked to old-fashioned stereotypes of masculinity. We are confident in the fact that we can help these people find their way to take care of themselves. David [Beckham] is already a leader for them; when you observe online and see YouTube tutorials about how to look like Beckham — it’s clear.”

The goal with this range, Fridlevski explained, is to talk to a new generation of consumers that starts at 25 years old.

He was unable to disclose exact terms of the deal, but called it a “long-term partnership that Biotherm hopes will be for many years.” An initial collection of eight to 12 products for face and body will be available at launch and retail from about 20 to 40 euros, or $23 to $46 at current exchange, mirroring the company’s existing price structure. The formulas are undergoing testing, with exact products yet to be finalized.

For Biotherm, the priority with this range is attracting a younger demographic: men from 25 to 35 who lead active lives and have specific needs for their skin from protection to extra moisture. Geography-wise, the brand wants to target Millennial males in Pan Asia, Pan Europe and the U.S., especially the latter two since men’s skin care is not yet as widely used as in South Korea or China. Biotherm’s average consumer in Asia is 30 years old, and in Europe, where it’s more of a “traditional, smaller and still developing market,” closer to age 40.

Fridlevski explained that the brand, founded in Paris in 1952 as the first brand to use plankton in its products, takes a biological approach to skin care — versus a dermatological approach. The men’s range, Biotherm Homme, celebrated 30 years in 2015.

As for the launch strategy next year, Fridlevski said the brand is working closely with Beckham to take a really “pedagogical approach.”

“The idea is to pitch people to take care of themselves with him — to look good to feel better,” Fridlevski said. “It’s not for beauty-obsessed people; it’s more to look good, feel better and have a really positive approach.”