Community and Social Change at the Heart of Sport Industry Awards 2021

09 Sep 2021

By: Sport Industry Group

After a virtual ceremony in 2020, leading figures from across the world of sport reunited at Evolution London to honour the sport industry’s incredible achievements over the last year, in the face of one of it’s most challenging times, as the Sport Industry Awards 2021 returned.

Following on from the unprecedent journey the sector has been on, both charity and social change emerged as key themes across all winners.

Campaign of the Year in association YouGov Sport went to the 2.6 Challenge - a campaign setup to save the UK's charities during the pandemic at a time when they desperately needed support. The UGC-driven campaign brought sport bodies from across the UK together, along with grassroots athletes, to drive fundraising back to those that had lost it.

Sport England, meanwhile, won twice. The organisation’s Age UK campaign – a programme that encouraged older members of society to get active – claimed the Partnership Award in association with Evolution London, before it then was named Sport Organisation of the Year in association with AXA XL, recognising the critical work it did in supporting NGBs across the UK throughout the pandemic.

Marcus Rashford was honoured with The Integrity and Impact Award in association with Dow Jones Risk & Compliance, highlighting the critical role that athletes now have in driving social change around the world, while the inspiring Netflix documentary, Rising Phoenix, claimed the Tessa Jowell Community Award in association with abrdn, bringing new eyeballs to parasport.

Sky Sports was named Media Organisation of the Year, not only recognising its production and broadcast prowess, but honouring the role they’ve had in driving social change, particularly around the powerful message in support of Black Lives Matter during the West Indian Test Series in 2020.

The Active and Wellbeing Award was claimed by The FA’s Heads Up campaign which encouraged men to speak up about their mental health, and the IPC – together with Allianz – won the inaugural Sport Podcast Award for their Lessons From the Paralympics series.

In the agency categories, Ear to the Ground won Agency of the Year, while Ten Toes claimed top honours in Young Agency of the Year in association with Kru Live, marking debutant winners in both categories.

Alex Coulson, Managing Director at Sport Industry Group said:

“What an 18 months it has been to get here, and what an evening it was to bring the industry back together again and celebrate in the successes of everyone – not only those who won. The resilience and fight that our sector has shown is staggering. As ever, being part of the Sport Industry Awards is a privilege and a journey of learning and discovery.

“It came as no surprise throughout the process that social change, activism, and charity featured so prominently. In 2020 and 2021 our sector showed its human side and delivered real change for those that need it the most, and this year more than ever I’m proud and humbled to be a part of it. Sport is a vehicle for fun, learning, and development, and the platform athletes have now can drive immense positivity for all areas of society – I’ve loved watching all the work centre on this.

“On top of the work, what an amazing feeling it was bringing the industry back together. It’s been a long journey apart, and while we remember absent friends, we at Sport Industry Group are proud to have created the platform for you to reunite and it was an honour to host you all as ever.”