According to BBC officials, the accolade recognised the 35-year-old midfielder's "remarkable" record on and off the pitch and his "tireless work as an ambassador for British sport".
Beckham will receive the award at the annual ceremony in Birmingham on Sunday.
The LA Galaxy star is England's most capped outfield player, winning six Premier League titles and the Champions League crown with Manchester United.
Beckham, who was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2001, also won the Spanish league with Real Madrid after a 25 million pound move from Manchester United and has spent two loan spells at AC Milan.
Previous recipients of the award include Beckham's former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, ace footballer George Best and Golf great Seve Ballesteros.
BBC Sports Personality of the Year editor Carl Doran said, "David's record on and off the pitch has been remarkable.
"It's a fitting reward for an outstanding career as a player and for his tireless work as an ambassador for British sport. He has also been a tremendous role model and I'm sure he'll get an amazing reaction from the public in Birmingham."
Beckham, who was born in Leytonstone, East London, made his England debut in September 1996 against Moldova and has gone on to win 115 caps - captaining England 59 times.
He spent a decade at Manchester United, lifting nine major trophies with the club before moving to Spanish side Real Madrid in 2003.
The father-of-three was also a key member of the England 2018 World Cup bid, which lost out to Russia in the vote earlier this month.