Unilever has signed up sports stars Lawrence Dallaglio, James Cracknell and Mark Foster to front a £5.4m marketing push for its new Vaseline skincare range for men, The Grocer can reveal.

Kicking off next month, the two-month ad campaign will feature the rugby, Olympic rowing and swimming champions promoting the new six-strong Vaseline Men range by bringing "skin facts to life" .

The brand's first range aimed specifically at men is rolling into the major multiples, Boots, Superdrug and Wilkinson now.

It consists of two body lotion variants, three face & bodywash products and a hand lotion, which have been specially formulated to keep men's skin "strong and resilient", according to the company.

Frances Deans, senior category manager for skin at Unilever, predicted the range would clock up sales of £6.2m in its first year.

"As male consumers continue to spend more on skincare and cleansing, the new products offer an incremental opportunity to bring new users to the category and increase average weight of purchase among existing consumers," she said.

Sales of skincare products for men were up 2.2% to £64.4m last year and account for a 10.2% share of the £596.2m male grooming market [TNS 52 w/e April 2007].

The new range is priced from £1.99 for a 200ml bottle of body wash to £3.49 for a 200ml bottle of body lotion, and is targeted at 25 to 50 year-old men.

The TV ads will be supported by an outdoor poster campaign.

Last July, Unilever launched Vaseline Intensive Rescue, a range of unisex bodycare products designed for very dry skin.

At the time it said that although male face care was an exciting area, the category's contribution to growth was minimal and it remained a small category.