According to the Warwick Business School, Brand Beckham is the British icon most recognised by Chinese consumers after the Royal Family.
The BBC is about to add to that. The commercial arm of the public broadcaster, BBC Worldwide, has filmed the former Manchester United star motorcycling with his chums across Latin America like Che Guevara. It hopes that the resulting film, David Beckham Into the Unknown, will generate hefty returns through international sales. Moody black and white publicity shots of Becks alongside his mean machine must have delighted Belstaff, the motorcycle clothing label that sponsors him.
The film, made in the Amazon rainforest, will be screened on prime time on BBC1 next week as a prelude to the Brazil World Cup. And this morning, Britain's most successful marketer will sit down in London for a Q&A with travel specialist Michael Palin, conferring further BBC kudos on an orchestrated adventure where I can't imagine anything much was left "unknown".