HRH PRINCE HARRY HELPS CROWN BT SPORT INDUSTRY AWARDS WINNERS

29 Apr 2016

The 15th annual BT Sport Industry Awards on Thursday 28th April saw 1,750 of the sport industry’s most influential names come together to celebrate the best in the business.

HRH Prince Harry opened the evening by presenting the Murray family with the Outstanding Contribution to Sport Award  for the impact they have made in the world of tennis and beyond.

HRH Prince Harry also used the evening to announce a partnership between The Invictus Games Foundation and Sport Industry Group that sees the two organisations come together to help create career opportunities for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women in the sport industry.

With a multitude of sports, international brands and agencies represented, the evening proved that the UK is a thriving global hub for the industry. Stars flooded the red carpet with names such as Anthony Joshua, Mesut Ozil, Victoria Pendleton, David Haye, Chris Robshaw, Jamie Roberts, Hannah Cockcroft, Jodie Kidd, Peter Crouch and Mark Wright coming together to celebrate the industry. HRH Prince Harry captured the sentiment of the evening when he said: “Everybody here knows the power of sport and what it can achieve for anybody.”

Anthony Joshua added to the evening's excitement by announcing that he's looking forward to fighting David Haye and Tyson Fury, he said: "I respect them both. They are both skilled fighters. I will take them on one at a time. I'm speaking to my management about it and we're working towards that fight." 

Sport England’s hugely successful ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, which led to an increase in levels of female participation in sport across the country, secured the inaugural Campaign of the Year Award, sponsored by Smart Group.

Women’s sport was further celebrated with the Leadership in Sport Award in association with Nolan Partners, which was presented to The FA’s director of participation and development Kelly Simmons MBE. Simmons received the award for the instrumental role she has played in developing women’s football and the national game.

Nick Keller, chairman of the Sport Industry Group, added: “The Awards this year reflect a change in attitudes not just from the government but from the industry itself, that the first step in accessibility for sport for all sits in the inclusion and encouragement of women and girls in to sport. The groundbreaking ‘This Girl Can’ campaign and the huge strides taken by the FA make them deserved winners tonight, not only are they leading the way for greater equality but they recognise the commercial narrative attached in doing so.”

In a year that saw England host the Rugby World Cup, England Rugby partner O2 secured two category wins for its Wear The Rose campaign with the Best Entertainment Experience Award and Best Sponsorship of a Team or Individual. The sport also helped Land Rover take the title of Best Sponsorship of an Event or Competition in association with, for its #WeDealinReal campaign.

For the second consecutive year adidas took home the coveted Brand of the Year Award in association with Pinsent Masons. The brand’s Be The Difference football focused campaign also saw adidas take home the award for the highly competitive Best International Marketing campaign in association with SMG Insight.

AELTC Wimbledon led the field in the social and digital categories and secured both the Digital Platform of the Year and Best Use of Social Media awards for Wimbledon.com and the 2015 Sharing Moments that Matter campaign respectively.

This was also the year that Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton proved to the world that she could switch saddles and hold her own on the racecourse, helping Betfair win Best Use of PR in association with Getty Images, for its 12 month Switching Saddles campaign.

Despite a home Rugby World Cup the breadth and depth of high quality work across the UK industry was demonstrated by the multitude of sports represented across the 14 categories.

After its first season the FIA Formula E Championship received the Cutting Edge Sport Award in association with Loughborough University London, for its innovative use of technology.

Elsewhere, M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment secured the title of Agency of the Year in association with Club Wembley, while GoodGym claimed Community Programme of the Year in association with The Supporters Club, parkrun UK won Participation Event of the Year in association with XL Catlin and British Gymnastics was awarded Governing Body of the Year in association with The Daily Telegraph.

Comic Relief chief executive Kevin Cahill CBE received the Coutts Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Comic and Sport Relief. During his three decades with the organisation, Cahill was responsible for the creation and development of Sport Relief and under his leadership, Comic Relief has established itself as one of the world’s leading charities and grant making bodies.

The judging process for the BT Sport Industry Awards involved 70 key industry figures and 40 hours of intensive judging, overseen by EY, official adjudicators of the BT Sport Industry Awards.

BT is the Headline Partner of the BT Sport Industry Award. Official Partners are Coutts, ESPN and EY.

For more information on the event visit www.sportindustry.biz and follow @SportIndustry #BTSIA.

Image: ©Getty Images