Best and bravest in sport honoured at the BT Sport Industry Awards 2019

High-profile attendees at the ceremony in London included England and Manchester City star Raheem Sterling, England Manager Gareth Southgate, former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Baroness Valerie Amos, Britain’s most decorated Olympian Dame Katherine Grainger, swimming sensation Adam Peaty, racing’s Sir AP McCoy and rising athletics star Laura Muir.

Influential industry figures were honoured alongside the best-performing sports organisations of the year at the BT Sport Industry Awards, which took place on Thursday at Battersea Evolution in London.

The glittering annual showcase – the largest commercial sport awards in the world – began with three high-profile presentations, led by the renaming of the Social and Sustainable Development Award in honour of the late Dame Tessa Jowell.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair made the announcement in front of 1,700 industry guests, paying tribute to the work of his friend and former colleague, who, as Olympic Minister, played a key role in securing the legacy of the London 2012 Games.

The winner in the category, which will now be known as the Dame Tessa Jowell Social Impact Award, was The Ocean Race for its powerful #TurntheTideonPlastic campaign.

Mr Blair was followed on stage by Baroness Amos, the former UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, who announced The FA and the England Men’s World Cup Squad as winners of the Leadership in Sport Award.

The outgoing and incoming CEOs of The FA, Martin Glenn and Mark Bullingham, were joined by England Men’s Manager Gareth Southgate to receive the trophy.

Southgate then linked up with broadcaster Dan Walker to present Raheem Sterling with The Integrity and Impact Award founded by Dow Jones Sports Intelligence. The presentation recognised the England and Manchester City star’s powerful use of his platform to speak out on a range of important societal issues including racial abuse and discrimination.

Outgoing UK Sport CEO Liz Nicholl was also honoured with the Coutts Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her role in transforming the UK into a global sporting power.

Nicholl was surprised with the trophy by her colleague Dame Katherine Grainger, now Chair of UK Sport, who recognised the impact of Nicholl’s work on her earlier sporting career.

Dame Katherine Grainger said: “I have had an amazing time as an athlete being part of the incredible system Liz built and I have had the most incredible privilege over the past two years working alongside her and seeing first-hand not just the phenomenal professionalism that she brings and the respect she has everywhere, but also the heart and the passion and the excitement of working in high performance sport that is there every day.”

There were three sets of double winners among the 19 main BT Sport Industry Awards winners, which were determined by a rigorous, two-phase, three-month judging process, fully overseen by EY.

The FA was successful in both the Communications Award and Film Content Award categories, while the ECB won the Diversity & Inclusion Award in association with BT Sport and the Fan Engagement Award in association with Socios.com.

The Ocean Race added to its early success by securing a further win in the competitive Cutting Edge Sport category.

The evening concluded with International Campaign of the Year in association with YouGov Sport going to Visa for its Zlatan Ibrahimovic-fronted Ultimate FIFA World Cup FOMO.

Meanwhile, a highly competitive UK Campaign of the Year in association with Smart Group category was won by Paddy Power’s Rainbow Russians campaign.

Brand of the Year in association with Wiggin went to Adidas, while Event of the Year in Association with Miller was awarded to The European Tour for the Ryder Cup 2018.

Sport Organisation of the Year in association with AXA XL was presented to England Netball, with Judges praising the governing body’s smart long-term strategic approach which delivered an impressive commercial performance as well as fantastic results from grassroots to elite level.

Three-times shortlisted MATTA was named Young Agency of the Year in association with Getty Images. The Judges were impressed by MATTA’s abundant client roster, impressive financials, and a very good pitch / win ratio – all underpinned by a strong culture and identity of its own.

The final award of the evening saw Octagon successful for the first time in the coveted Agency of the Year category, which received an unprecedented number of entries in 2019.

The Judges recognised the clear step change the agency has gone through over the last year. Boasting an enviable client roster, it scored consistently highly across every touchpoint with quality work, happy clients and happy employees.

The Goat Agency, a former winner of Young Agency of the Year, was also Highly Commended in the Agency category, with Judges highlighting its position at the forefront of a changing industry and impressive rapid growth.

A full list of winners from the BT Sport Industry Awards 2019 is provided in appendix.

Alex Coulson, Managing Director of Sport Industry Group, organiser of the BT Sport Industry Awards, said: “For 18 years, the BT Sport Industry Awards have honoured the best of the best in the industry.

“The world is now a very different place from what it was in 2001, and sport has been in the frontline of technological and cultural change.

“New sports have emerged, while others fight for relevance in a world where the roles of athletes, brands and media appear to be converging. But the appetite for sport in its purest essence still remains.

“Likewise the sport industry continues to go from strength to strength, driven by the spirit of innovation, purpose and entrepreneurial resilience that we see right through our BT Sport Industry Awards 2019 shortlists and winners.

“Just as sport at its best offers a reflection of the best of society, so the sport industry is a showcase for the best that business can be.”

The 18th staging of the BT Sport Industry Awards drew more than 75 celebrities from the worlds of sport and entertainment, including swimming sensation Adam Peaty, racing’s Sir AP McCoy, rising athletics star Laura Muir and gymnastics champion Max Whitlock.

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