As entries open for the Sport Industry Awards 2020, we're going Behind the Awards to take a look back at the winners over the last few years. What made them successful? How do they stand out from the crowd? And what has life been like since they picked up the award?
This time we’re talking to M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment, Agency of the Year at the Sport Industry Awards 2018.
What did it mean to M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment to win Agency of the Year at the Sport Industry Awards 2018?
The awards themselves are always a melting pot of rumours. It’s actually quite funny and become somewhat of a tradition amongst the agencies. Someone hears from someone else that agency x has won it. It is then endorsed by someone else, who knows someone that once went out with someone who was actually AT agency x. Then you hear it is 100% going to be agency x because someone knows someone who once had a coffee with someone at Sport Industry Group.
It happens every single year and every single year it’s… completely wrong. And yet, for some reason this year we believed the hype so were there to simply enjoy the wine and company and congratulate agency x on their very well-deserved victory. So, when our name was called out there was only one feeling – total shock.
What work do you think helped you stand out among the crowd?
Well you’d have to ask the judges that one as it’s very hard for us to say.
As always, there was a great list of finalists and it was probably tough to choose between us all. We don’t tend to look over the fence at our fellow competitors, we just stick to what we’re about as an agency.
We do feel our client list including adidas, Beko, Coca-Cola, Heineken, NatWest, O2, Reebok is right up there with the very best and something we’re incredibly proud of. Or perhaps it was the launch of our NatWest Cricket has No Boundaries Campaign which continues to be one of our proudest campaigns. Or it could have been the client endorsements? Or the team that led the VIVA? Or maybe they just liked our smiles? Who knows…
How important was winning the Award to your journey as an agency and your current business?
Winning Agency of the Year for a 6th time really allowed us to pause and celebrate our hard work and achievements over the previous 12 months and is hugely motivational for the whole team. There is no better way to mark your hard work than receiving industry recognition, especially when the competition is so fierce.
How important do you feel it is that your UK team is recognised by the Sport Industry Awards, particularly as a large global organisation?
The Sport Industry Awards continue to be one of the key moments in ours and any organisation involved in sport’s calendar. It’s an important marker of your success in the industry and it’s hugely motivational for our UK team to get the recognition they deserve.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of applying to Agency of the Year?
Please don’t. Improves our chances of winning it.
Describe your Sport Industry Awards victory in 5 words…
Loved it. Now, what’s next?
Have you seen a change in the industry’s perception of M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment since winning the Award?
It is certainly mentioned quite a bit when we meet new prospects that’s for sure. From day one we’ve been about our creative output and big behaviour change campaigns so, yes, the awards have helped us get that message across.