The best-performing sports organisations of the year were recognised at the BT Sport Industry Awards 2019 at Battersea Evolution in London on Thursday, 25th April.
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 Olympics 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.
The Ocean Race later added to its success by securing a further win in the competitive Cutting Edge Sport category.
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 and Inclusion Award in association with BT Sport and the Fan Engagement Award in association with Socios.com.
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.
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 rapid growth and position at the forefront of a changing industry.
Commenting on the evening, 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 England and Manchester City star Raheem Sterling, England Men's manager Gareth Southgate, swimming sensation Adam Peaty, racing’s Sir AP McCoy, rising athletics star Laura Muir and gymnastics champion Max Whitlock.