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Apr112011

With NBA Playoffs Ticking, LeBron James Makes Time For New Global Deal

LeBron James sports an Audemars Piquet watch as part of his new global marketing alliance. (PHOTO: Audemars Piquet)April 11, 2011: Last week, LeBron James became a part owner of the Liverpool Football Club, one of the most storied franchises in international sports.

Now, James is part of another international company as marketing spokesman for high-end watchmaker Audemars Piguet.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The alliance comes as James and the Miami Heat hit the playoffs seeking to win the NBA title.

In addition to representing the brand on the international stage, James will collaborate with Audemars Piguet to "create a very special limited-edition watch." James said he would donate the proceeds from any future auctions of his timepieces to his namesake charity, the LeBron James Family Foundation and its children’s related activities.

Other Audemars Piguet brand ambassadors include race car icon Michael Schumacher, international soccer star Lionel Messi, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, and such pro golfers such as Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Vijay Singh.

The alliance was official unveiled at SoHo Beach House, Miami Beach, at an event where attendees included Philippe Merk, CEO of Audemars Piguet and Francois-Henry Bennahmias, president of AP North America; and James' Miami Heat teammates Chris Bosh and Juwan Howard.

“Audemars Piguet and I strive for excellence in all our endeavors,” LeBron said. at the event. “I am honored to be the next global brand ambassador and join the ranks of industry greats who have previously represented the brand. I am also excited to collaborate with AP on an exclusive timepiece that will be the ultimate symbol of our partnership."

Among James' marketing alliances are Nike, Sprite and State Farm.

“We have a history of partnering with those at the top of their game and right now, LeBron is like a comet."

According to Francois-Henry Bennahmias, “We have a history of partnering with those at the top of their game and right now, LeBron is like a comet. Not only does he burn up the court, but he maintains the right balance of family, philanthropy and fame.”

“LeBron James is a gifted athlete and an exceptional humanitarian," said Philippe Merk. "His mission truly mirrors ours and we are delighted to welcome him to the Audemars Piguet family."

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