altNovember 3 - David Beckham has signed his third deal to become the face of a sponsor involved in London 2012, joining Tier One Paralympics partner Sainsbury's as an ambassador.

The former England captain is support the supermarket chain's Active Kids campaign, which officials claim has now donated over £115 million ($183 million/€134 million) worth of equipment and experiences to nurseries, schools, Scout and Guide groups, and Clubmark accredited sports clubs.

Beckham already has deals with worldwide Olympic sponsor Samsung and Adidas, a Tier One London 2012 partner.

Ahead of London 2012, Beckham will also become Sainsbury's ambassador for its London 2012 Paralympic Games sponsorship getting involved in campaigns such as the 1 Million Kids Challenge designed to encourage school children of all ages and abilities to have a go at a Paralympic sport through the distribution of free equipment to schools.

Launched by Sainsbury's in April 2011, the 1 Million Kids Challenge has already received pledges from just under 6,000 schools representing 1.9 million children, almost doubling the target initially set.

"I know the difference leading a healthier and more active life can make to kids and I have been really impressed with the long-term commitment that Sainsbury's has made," said Beckham, who will work alongside teenage swimmer Ellie Simmonds, the double Paralympic gold medallist who is already a Sainsbury's ambassador.

"I am looking forward to working with Sainsbury's to help UK kids have fun, become even more active and introduce them to Paralympic Sports through the 1 Million Kids Challenge."

The announcement comes four months after celebrity chef Jamie Oliver said he would step down as the face of the supermarket after Christmas following an 11-year partnership.

Like Oliver, Beckham will appear in adverts for the company.

The first is due to show in cinemas from November 25.

"We're thrilled to have David on board as an ambassador of our Active Kids campaign," said Justin King, the cheif executive of Sainsbury's.

"As a world class athlete and father of four, David is the ideal ambassador to support our commitment to encourage children to get active and live healthier lifestyles for less money.

"And with a year to go until the Paralympic Games, David's involvement in the 1 Million Kids Challenge will raise the profile even further of disability sport, to help us make this the best Paralympic Games yet."


By Duncan Mackay