The Sport Industry Awards 2021 will see the industry’s biggest night of the year return to Evolution London on Wednesday 8th September, and will also be the 20th anniversary of the event.
Ahead of the night, we’re taking a look at this year’s shortlist, to see who might be returning home with the famous trophies on the night.
Make sure you don’t miss out on attending the in-person return of the Sport Industry Awards - book your place now.
The Cutting Edge Award in association with PT SportSuite is one for the gamechangers - those who’ve gone beyond themselves, broken new boundaries, thought differently or brought in new ideas or tech.
Read on to see the shortlist below...
Michael O’Reilly, Director, Agency Partnerships EMEA, Shutterstock:
I loved that there was a lot of variety in the category, but I think a trend I noticed was intimate access to very high profile sporting stars. This level of access is extremely engaging, especially when we're seeing a different side to the stars we think we know so well.
I'm personally a sucker for this kind of content, I'll be glued to any documentary on any high level sport that has that degree of access, so to see that being used so creatively from a brand perspective was great!
What excites me about the shortlist is the level of creativity across the board. The campaigns were so different from each other, and the fact that each idea was so fresh - with so many concepts that I personally hadn’t seen before - made the shortlist extremely exciting and wholly inspiring.
adidas - Rent-A-Pred
To revive the spirit of the iconic adidas Predator football boot and generate desire among a new generation of football-obsessed 16-25-year olds, adidas needed to relaunch with attitude and gain attention outside of the vertical football sphere.
The campaign focused on an essential problem that faces any footballer: being short a player for your game.
The solution: Rent-A-Pred. For one week, London football teams were able to WhatsApp adidas asking for a player to make up their team and give them a ‘100% Unfair Advantage.’ For the lucky few, their ‘Pred’ player would arrive in the form of adidas royalty, including Kaka, Eni Aluko and The F2.
The result? Global media coverage including 74 publisher social posts, Kaka’s appearance in Hackney trending globally, a meme that lives on to this day and a week that will go down in London football history.
BT - Unlimited Subs
For the launch of the 2020-2021 football season, BT developed an exclusive flexible TV proposition that enables fans to sub each football package (BT Sport, Sky Sports and Prime Video) on and off every month.
To bring the proposition to life, an integrated campaign was developed that depicts a football season, where teams can make unlimited ‘subs’, a topical issue. Indeed, a key reason why the idea was so powerful was because ‘Project Restart’ had triggered plenty of debate around the number of subs that should be allowed in football.
Designed to grab the attention of fans during a key acquisition period, the work significantly increased first choice purchase intent for BT TV amongst this audience. The TV ad proved to be hugely popular, and was shared extensively by fans online, achieving over 5 million views across social platforms. The campaign also enjoyed coverage by the national press.
EA SPORTS - There's Only One King
FIFA 21 saw the return to the game of a footballing legend, Eric Cantona. Our mission? Turn a core FIFA fan beat, the introduction of a new in-game player, into a moment that captures the attention of the wider football/Gen Z fan. How? By tapping into broader football culture and merging the worlds of football/music.
The campaign partnered with hip-hop artist and Liverpool fan, Loyle Carner, to bring the vision to life. Despite Loyle’s club allegiances, his late father saw ‘King Eric’ as his idol so we developed a spoken word piece of content that celebrated Cantona’s legacy but was also a homage to Loyle's Dad. The content, “There’s Only One King”, was written and directed by the artist.
Hosted across Loyle’s/Eric’s plus owned channels to target our FIFA audience, the content was released to announce the return of ‘King Eric’ – driving in excess of 2m views / 500k engagement across platforms.
ECB - The Wait
Released during the first lockdown, The Wait is a love letter to cricket, and to those who play it, follow it and care about it. It's both a celebration of the game, and a call to arms during a time of need.
This emotional film, narrated by Stephen Fry, served as the launch film for the ECB's pandemic response campaign 'Together Through This Test', and drew wide media attention to the amazing work people in cricket were doing to support their communities.
Facebook - Wingmen
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are a dynamic duo both on and off the pitch.
As two of their countries’ top players and Liverpool’s starting wingbacks, fans are familiar with watching them bomb up and down either flank; less well-known is their strong, and engaging, friendship.
The Original Series “Wingmen” offered people a unique insight into their relationship and their amazing journey as part of a Liverpool team who have lifted UEFA Champions League and Premier League trophies in successive seasons.
Not simply a piece of ‘content’ but an idea, a format; a creative path chosen specifically to have the layers and the flexibility necessary to reveal their personalities.
Trent & Andy’s close bond and natural on-screen dynamic provided viewers with a witty, relatable take on themselves, football and popular culture.
At its core, the universal, authentic identification with two mates, in a car, just talking and laughing.
Team GB - Love Stories
The British Olympic Association (BOA) enlisted H+K’s help to inspire the nation and give Team GB a voice on issues beyond sport. Focusing on the things that unite us, we created a three-part film miniseries ‘Love Stories’ as part of the wider campaign, ‘This Is What Makes Us’, to demonstrate the diversity of Team GB.
The films celebrated every form of love, recognising that our relationships – whether with partners, siblings, children or parents – are one of the things that make us great. Olympians past and present took part, including gold-medal hockey winning players Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh, triathletes Jonny and Alistair Brownlee, and divers Jack Laugher and Lois Toulson; all sharing their experiences of love and what it means to them.
The intimate pieces, with a beautiful black and white treatment, allowed the emotion of their words to shine with a simple visual style - a unique approach for sports content.
The R&A - The Open For The Ages
The R&A was formed in 2004 to take on The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews’ responsibilities for governing the Rules of Golf, staging The Open and the AIG Women’s Open, and developing the sport.
Played on iconic links golf courses since 1860, The Open is golf’s original and most international major. It was founded by pioneering golfers who had one guiding principle - to crown the Champion Golfer of the Year.
Together The R&A and the USGA govern the sport of golf worldwide, operating in separate jurisdictions with a commitment to a single code for the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status and Equipment Standards.
The R&A governs the sport, outside of the United States and Mexico, on behalf of over 36m golfers in 143 countries and with the consent of 158 organisations from amateur and professional golf.