Pepsi denies Beckham film tie-up with Coke is a threat

Coca-Cola prepares to hijack Pepsi deal by backing multi-million pound Goal! film trilogy

Drinks giant Pepsi has played down the threat of a marketing ambush of its £15m sponsorship deal with David Beckham by Coca-Cola, despite moves by the rival company to plough money into a trilogy of movies featuring the football star.

Coca-Cola has backed a forthcoming series of movies called Goal! starring Beckham and other footballing icons such as French international Zinedine Zidane and Spanish star Raul, both of whom play for Beckham’s Real Madrid club. The company is understood to be planning a range of promotional activity and a customised campaign around the £100m trilogy.

A spokeswoman for Pepsi refuses to comment on the film, although she insists the company “enjoys a long-term relationship with David Beckham”. She adds: “It is company policy not to release contractual details.”

A spokeswoman for Milkshake Films, which will produce the films, confirms that Coca-Cola is backing the movie, but adds that it is too early to talk about its marketing potential. Ironically, Freud Communications, the same PR company that works for Pepsi, is also handling PR for the movie.

The first instalment of the trilogy begins filming this month and is due to break in August, while the second will open in 2006 in time for the World Cup in Germany. The final part of the series will be filmed during the tournament.

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