UK football needs brand Beckham

David Beckham transcends all forms of society, from football fans of all teams and nations to mums and dads, royalty, politicians and the serving military.

Adrian Bevington: 'Beckham is the respectable face of football in the UK, combining football, charity and commercial work.'
Adrian Bevington: 'Beckham is the respectable face of football in the UK, combining football, charity and commercial work.'

From boys of seven who dream of playing for England to grandmothers of 70 who admire his manners.

How has he become such a media phenomenon? First and foremost, Beckham has been a top player. He has combined his ability with continued dedication, hunger and determination. He's a first-rate professional who has looked after his body supremely.

Importantly, he has always been an extremely polite, genuinely well-mannered person, not to mention his good looks and marriage to Victoria.

A good-looking footballer, fashion icon and family man who's always punctual and professional is a sponsor's dream. But great credit must go to those who have worked most closely with him. Simon Oliveira and all at 19 Entertainment, representatives of Adidas and his longstanding friend and former manager Terry Byrne have helped position him brilliantly.

He's played for top football clubs and only works with blue-chip commercial partners. There have been groundbreaking strategies that have continued to put him at the forefront of global media.

Initially he was not the most confident at speaking to the media. However, after taking on the England captaincy in 2000 he fully embraced his media responsibilities and within a year he had become the master of the press conference.

Don't underestimate Beckham. He is very intuitive when assessing a situation. He's fantastic at providing the media with a line and they have always loved that.

He treats the media with dignity and respect, makes time for them and this has been recognised in the coverage he has received for over a decade. He never ducked a press conference when he was England captain.

Beckham is the respectable face of football in the UK, a power for good combining football, charity and commercial work simultaneously. I sincerely hope he will be integrated into The FA's structure in a senior ambassadorial role as he has so much to offer.

Adrian Bevington is group director of comms at The FA.

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