Dubai – MENA Herald: In the presence of 570 guests at the JW Marriott Marquis hotel – the largest gathering in the four-year history of Sports Industry Awards presented by Cadillac – gold, silver and bronze winners were announced across 14 categories from 196 submissions.
The Abu Dhabi Sports Council owned Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship won the Live Experience at a Professional Sports Event, as well as the prize for Best Integrated Sport Marketing Campaign, and the Best Use of PR in Sport.
Sports management giants IMG, who organised the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, were also adjudged the Best Sport Agency or Organisation.
More accolades were in store for tournament sponsors HSBC as well, as they won the Best Sponsor- ship of a Sports Event for the popular Rugby Sevens World Series and their partnership of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens.
Greg Sproule, managing director of IMG Middle East, was understandably delighted. He said: “It’s humbling, and it’s also hugely gratifying for the team, who work so hard for each and every event that we do.
“The SPIAs are always special for us, more so because the judges are our peers from the industry and experts in their fields. Also, to win against such strong competition is also very satisfying.”
It was a memorable night for the region’s biggest sports retailers –
Gulf Marketing Group, owners of Sun & Sand Sports. They won the Best Sport Retail Experience of the Year for their stunning new store in Dubai Mall, followed by the Sports Brand, Retail or Product Activation of the Year for their ‘Show Them You Own The School’ campaign.
“This is the first time we have entered the SPIAs and we have won in all three categories. This is a fantastic night for us,” said Razan Akrouk, marketing manager of Gulf Marketing Group.
Zayed Sports City won the first two golds of the night – the Best Indoor, as well as the Best Outdoor Sport & Recreation Facility of the Year.
One of the most coveted awards of the night, Best Sports Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, was swept by ActiveLife by Daman, who won the gold for their various community events, and also the silver for National Sports Festival.
During the course of the evening, Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation (ISSF) secretary general Faisal Al Nassar recognised the contribution of Sport360° and presented Didier Brun, Deputy CEO, with a memento.
Earlier, welcoming the guests, Brun dedicated the SPIA to the sport industry itself, saying: “As we have always believed, this evening is all about you.
“This simple guiding principle has turned year on year into a room full of sport lovers encouraging each other to be bigger and better. We aspired to reward you, to connect you, to give you a stage where your talent and your tireless efforts will be the stars of the show.
“But it was you who stepped up the game, who have astounded us every year with your professional- ism, with the ever-increasing quality of your applications, with your ideas and the innovation you bring into the region.”
In addition to Cadillac, the 2016 SPIA sponsors were Emirates Airline, Dubai Sports City, Singha Corporation and Lacoste. The event was organised and produced by Sport360, the world’s only English language daily sports newspaper.

2016 Winners by Categories

Live Experience at a Professional Sports Event
Gold –
Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championships

Best Sport Event Amateur
Gold –
White Collar DXB
Silver –
The Color Run
Bronze –
ADCB Zayed Sports City Pink 5 & 10km Run

Best Sports CSR Initiative
Gold –
ActiveLife by Daman
Silver –
Daman’s ActiveLife National Sports Festival
Bronze –
Koora Time by Qatar Football Association / Qatar Shell

Best Indoor Sport & Recreation Facility
Gold –
Zayed Sports City
Silver –
Bounce Middle East

Best Outdoor Sport & Recreation Facility
Gold –
Zayed Sports City
Silver –
ICC Academy

Best Sport Retail Experience
Gold –
Sun and Sand Sports, Dubai Mall
Silver –
Adventure HQ

Best use of Social Media in Sport
Gold –
Bounce AFTERDARK
Silver –
The Color Run
Bronze –
Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Sports Brand, Retail or Product Activation of the Year
Gold –
Show Them you Own The School
Silver –
#BETHEDIFFERENCE
Bronze –
The Nike+ Run Club: Midnight Mile

Best Integrated Sport Marketing Campaign
Gold –
Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship
Silver –
Adventure HQ sponsors The Color Run
Bronze –
Mubadala World Tennis Championships

Best use of PR in Sport
Gold –
Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship
Bronze –
#Legend Challenge

Best Sport Agency or Organisation
Gold –
IMG
Middle East
Silver –
CSM

Bronze –
Inspiratus Sports Experience

Best Youth Development Project
Gold –
Du Football Champions

Silver –
Emirates American Football League

Bronze –
UAE Rugby Federation HSBC Player Pathway Program

Best Sponsorship of a Sport or Sports Event
Gold –
HSBC – Sevens World Series
& Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens
Silver –
Daman’s
ActiveLife – Color Run
Bronze –
Emirates NBD – Dubai Ladies Masters & Desert Classic

Sport Youth Academy or Organisation of the Year
Gold –
E-Sports Football Club 

Silver –
UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation

Bronze –
Abu Dhabi Harlequins Rugby Club

The awards next stop sees the Asian region in focus with the Asia edition being held in Bangkok, Thailand for the first time in October 2016.