Dubai: Legendary basketball star Kobe Bryant has been named the global brand ambassador for Turkish Airlines for the next two years.

A global advertising campaign featuring Bryant is planned for 2011.

The first television advertisements with Bryant are slated to run in the US and the Middle East in the first quarter of 2011, after which it will be broadcast globally to more than 80 countries, a spokesman for Turkish Airlines said. In addition to the US, the campaign would focus on the Middle East and the Far East where the basketball player has a large fan base.

So proud

"I'm so proud to be chosen as a global brand ambassador for Turkish Airlines Turkey is a country rich in natural beauty and thousands of years of cultural history, and I'm proud to partner with Turkish Airlines to bring that majesty to people around the world," Bryant said in a statement. Bryant has been named Most Valuable Player of the NBA finals for the past two years, and has won five NBA championships in his career.

He has twice been the scoring champion of the NBA and was part of the gold medal winning USA basketball men's national team at the 2008 Olympics. Bryant ranked number 14 in the Celebrity 100 published by Forbes Magazine.

The list is an attempt by the magazine to rank the world's richest and most powerful celebrities.