The inaugural Sports Industry Awards (SPIA) on Wednesday night honoured the many people and organisations who work behind the scenes and bring world-class events and services to the region.
In a glittering ceremony at the One & Only Royal Mirage, almost 450 guests applauded the efforts of their colleagues and competitors, who made it through a stringent judging process. There were three winners in each of the 12 different categories – Gold, Silver and Bronze.
The competition was intense as over 160 submissions were made for the SPIA. And it was evident in several categories where the judges could not break the deadlock between deserving parties.
The night’s only individual award, the MENA Sport Business Personality for 2013, went to Nawal El Moutawakel, the first Arab and Muslim woman to win an Olympic gold and the current Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Emirates Airline won the Best Sport Sponsorship Gold for their enduring association with the DP World Tour Championship. HSBC Sevens and Emirates NBD, as co-sponsors of Omega Dubai Desert Classic, bagged the Silver and Bronze prizes.
Roger Duthie, head of sponsorship for Emirates, said: “We are very proud to win this important award, and that too in its inaugural year. This is a great team effort. We like to associate with world-class events and the DP World Tour Championship is a world-class event.”
Adidas was adjudged the Best Sport Brand in the region and Adventure HQ pipped Sun & Sand Sports to the top prize for the Best Retailer.
The Best Sport and Recreation Facility saw two Gold winners in Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club and Zayed Sports City respectively, two Silver – Emirates Golf Club and Aspire Zone – and two Bronze winners in Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club and The Dome@Rawdhat.
Mustafa Al Hashmi, of Dubai Creek, was delighted with the award and said: “This is a fantastic initiative by Sport360° to get the entire industry under one roof and it feels wonderful to win this award.
“This is our 20th year of operation and we even managed to beat our big brothers, Emirates Golf Club. But this is a victory for Dubai Golf, as we both come under them.”
The Best Sport Event (Professional) was won by Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, while the Amateur Gold was won by Abu Dhabi Corporate Games.
IMG Middle East, Promoseven Sports Marketing and Duplays were the top three winners in the Best Sport Event Organisation in the region.
In the swing of things: The IMG team enjoy their success.
Greg Sproule, managing director, IMG, Middle East, said: “Any time you are recognised in any capacity, it is special. “From my point of view, it really is an honour to have the opportunity to run an event in this region.”
Oher winners included The Hundred Pilates Studio (Best Health and Fitness), Double Decker Pub (Best Entertainment Venue) and HSBC Rugby Programme (Best Sport Marketing Campaign).
The SPIA is a new initiative of Sport360º and Mediaquest, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Department of Civil Aviation and Chief Executive and Chairman of The Emirates Group. It was supported by both the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Dubai Sports Council.
Guests were treated to a scintillating show of freestyle football by Arab freestylers Mustafa ‘Loco’ and Mohammed Sa’adeh, and a live musical performance by ICE.
Killer heels: Guests join in with a spot of freestyle football.
BEST HEALTH AND FITNESS FACILITY
The Hundred Pilates Studio - Gold
Fitness First Middle East - Silver
Pride Fitness Center - Bronze
BEST SPORT AND RECREATION FACILITY
Zayed Sports City (Zayed Sports City) - Gold
Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club (Dubai Golf) - Gold
Emirates Golf Club (Dubai Golf) - Silver
Aspire Zone (Aspire Zone Foundation) - Silver
Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club (Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club LLC) - Bronze
The Dome@Rawdhat (Reem Investments) - Bronze
BEST ENTERTAINMENT VENUE
Double Decker Pub (Al Murooj Rotana Dubai) - Gold
Bridges Sports (The Fairmont Dubai) - Silver
Time Café (Ramee Royal Hotel) - Bronze
BEST SPORT RETAIL OUTLET
Adventure HQ (Adventure HQ LLC) - Gold
Sun & Sand Sports (Sun & Sand Sports LLC) - Silver
Intersport Outlet (Al Futtaim Trading LLC) - Bronze
BEST SPORT MARKETING CAMPAIGN
The HSBC Rugby Programme (Fast Track Middle East/ HSBC) - Gold
Unleash Deadly (Adidas Emerging Market) - Silver
Pakistan – Australia Cricket Series (Dubai Sports City) - Bronze
BEST SPORT SPONSORSHIP
Emirates Airline (DP World Tour Championship)- Gold
HSBC Sevens World Series (HSBC/Fast Track Middle East) - Silver
Emirates NBD (The Omega Dubai Desert Classic) - Bronze
BEST SPORT YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
Mubadala Football in Schools Programme (Fast Track Middle East/Mubadala) - Gold
E-Sports (East Sports Services) - Silver
Emirates American Football League Youth (EAFL Events LLC) - Bronze
HAPE iShape Programme (HCT Dubai) - Bronze
BEST SPORT BRAND
Adidas (Adidas Emerging Market) - Gold
Le Coq Sportif (Fitra International FZE) - Silver
Fitness First (Fitness First Middle East) - Bronze
BEST SPORT EVENT (AMATEUR)
Abu Dhabi Corporate Games (Corporate Games FZ LLC) - Gold
E-Sports Junior Football League (East Sports Services) - Silver
Etihad Airways Junior Rugby Festival (Etihad Airways/PSG) - Silver
Sharjah Streetball Challenge (Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club) - Bronze
Emirates American Football League (EAFL Events LLC) - Bronze
BEST SPORT EVENT (PROFESSIONAL)
Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship (IMG Middle East) - Gold
Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens (Emirates Airline) - Silver
The DP World Tour Championship (European Tour, Middle East) - Silver
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (Dubai Duty Free) - Bronze
BEST SPORT EVENT ORGANISATION
IMG (IMG Middle East) - Gold
Promoseven Sports Marketing (Promoseven Sports Marketing) - Silver
Duplays (DUPLAYS Sports Services) - Bronze
MENA SPORT BUSINESS PERSONALITY 2013 AWARD
Nawal El Moutawakel - Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee