Quantum of Bond for 2018

The latest Bond film, Quantum of Solace has proved a highly successful vehicle for sponsorship and product placement with no fewer than 12 partners from Sony to Aston Martin.

Over the years, James Bond has often demonstrated an interest in sport – skiing, speed boat racing, sky diving – even if the rules of the competitions haven’t always been as strictly enforced as us sports purists would like. Given the size of the global sports industry and the complex politics involved, perhaps it’s time for a Bond baddie from the sporting world. It could be a wealthy football club owner with ambitions for world domination or a sports politician with evil intent. A plot revolving around sport could easily incorporate the necessary range of exotic locations, expensive hotels and glamorous women.

Which brings me to the FIFA World Cup. The Football Association in England is submitting a bid for the 2018 World Cup. Competition will be tough with rival bids expected from the USA, China, Australia, Holland/Belgium, Russia, Spain/Portugal and possibly others. The English bid team is being assembled and the names of several high-profile ambassadors have already been mooted, including former United Nations General Secretary Kofi Annan, politician Baroness Amos, and footballers David Beckham and John Barnes. I would like to see James Bond as a bid ambassador. Actor Daniel Craig would certainly help the FA claim their share of the media spotlight at the various FIFA events during the bidding competition. His presence might also reduce the need for bodyguards for the other famous people…

I believe there is plenty of potential for a film tie-in. It would admittedly be counter-productive to base a plot on Bond rescuing the English World Cup bid from the clutches of dastardly rivals but there is surely scope for a throwaway line or a cheeky shot of a Sepp Blatter lookalike.

Andy Anson, the incoming chief executive of the England 2018 bid, will have a lot to do when he starts the new role in January. I hope he’ll consider putting in a call to 007.

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