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World Cup 2006

Kahn Still Worth His Weight in Gold to Advertisers

Despite Oliver Kahn's demotion to the national team's reserve goalkeeper, sponsors are staying true to the 36-year old.

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Kahn makes millions with advertising

Sportswear giant Adidas told Sport-Bild magazine that Kahn will not be taken out of their upcoming ad campaign featuring the goalie with the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Michel Platini and Franz Beckenbauer.

"Oliver Kahn will be in the ad because he belongs to the best soccer players in the world," said Adidas spokesman Jan Runau.

The irony of his role in a commercial for Bitburger beer could hardly have been anticipated when the trailer was produced earlier this year. In the ad, in which the national team plays soccer in a restaurant, a shot by Bastian Schweinsteiger zooms towards the head of unsuspecting coach Jürgen Klinsmann. Kahn, however, stops the ball just before it would have struck the man who scorned him just over a week ago.

Bitburger said there is no reason to change the commercial. The brewer purposely used Kahn in the ad because no other player polarizes Germany's soccer fans more, it stated.

Despite the downgrade to number 2, Kahn is a national icon who achieves instant recognition across Germany. Riding on the wave of success in both the Bundesliga and the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, he earned up to 3 million euros ($3.6 million) in advertising fees in 2004 -- in addition to his 6 million euro salary from Bayern.

All in all, nine companies sponsor Kahn.

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