SBD/Issue 174/Events & Attractions

NBC, IMG, ESPN Among Big Winners At 2nd Sports Business Awards

Ueberroth Accepts Lifetime
Achievement Award
NBC Sports, IMG and ESPN were all multiple winners during the 2nd annual Sports Business Awards, presented Thursday night at the Marriott Marquis in N.Y. by SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily. In addition, the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Peter Ueberroth, who was cited for his work with the Olympic movement, Major League Baseball and many charitable organizations. Ueberroth received a standing ovation after being introduced by his daughter, Heidi, President of Global Marketing Partnerships & Int'l Business Operations with the NBA. Peter Ueberroth retired from the USOC in October. "When I look back at all he's done,” said Heidi Ueberroth, “it's hard to believe that one person has accomplished all of those things. He's had about eight careers and any one of them could be a lifetime achievement in and of itself." See below for the full list of award winners.

Lifetime Achievement Peter Ueberroth
Sports Executive of the Year NBC Universal Sports & Olympics Chair Dick Ebersol
Athletic Director of the Year Joe Castiglione, Univ. of Oklahoma
Professional Sports Team of the Year Celtics
Professional Sports League of the Year NBA
Sports Event of the Year Amp Energy NHL Winter Classic
Best in Sports Media ESPN
Best in Sports Television NBC Sports
Best in Digital Sports Media ESPN Digital Media
Best in Talent Representation and Management CAA Sports
Best in Corporate Consulting, Marketing and Client Services IMG
Best in Property Consulting, Sales and Client Services IMG
Sports Event Marketing Firm of the Year GMR Marketing
Sports Sponsor of the Year Coca-Cola
Sports Facility of the Year Lucas Oil Stadium
Best in Sports Technology MLB Advanced Media for MLB At Bat

Ebersol Named Executive Of The Year; 
NBC Earns Best In Sports Television Award
WINNERS' REAX: NBC not only won in the Best in Sports Television category, but Dick Ebersol, Chair of NBC Universal Sports and Olympics, was named the '09 Executive of the Year. Ebersol, whose network was widely lauded for its presentation of the '08 Beijing Games, told the gathering, "Very few people have had so many things go the way they've gone for us this year.” He also mentioned other notable events on the net, from the NHL Winter Classic to the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines to Wimbledon. IMG also won in two categories: Best in Property Consulting, Sales and Client Services, and Best in Corporate Consulting, Marketing and Client Services. "We've come a long way in the last couple of years,“ said George Pyne, President of IMG Sports, who accepted the awards. “This is a real shot in the arm for us and we're grateful because the people we compete against in this category are just so talented." ESPN took the awards for Best in Digital Sports Media and Best in Sports Media. “We have worked really hard to extend our reach into mobile, into, into original content, and so forth,” said ESPN Senior VP & GM of Digital Media John Kosner. "We have a team that is constantly looking ahead, working to innovate, and figuring out new ways to serve the fan.”

EVENT ATTRACTED TOP INDUSTRY EXECS: This year’s Sports Business Awards were attended by about 600 of the top execs in the industry. Awards were handed out by a roster of top names, including notable winners from last year’s awards, among them the '08 Executive of the Year, Tim Leiweke of AEG; and the '08 Athletic Director of the Year, Ron Wellman of Wake Forest. For more coverage of the evening, see next week’s SportsBusiness Journal. You can also get a feel for the night by linking to our Twitter page, which not only heralded the winners as they were announced, but also linked to others in the industry who were Tweeting from the event or commenting on the proceedings (THE DAILY).

HONOR JUST TO BE NOMINATED: The Blackhawks were a finalist for Pro Team of the Year, and President John McDonough appeared on CSN Chicago's "Chicago Tribune Live" prior to the ceremony to discuss the nomination. McDonough said Blackhawks Senior VP/Business Operations Jay Blunk should get a "lot of the credit" for the nomination for the "great business strategy that he’s put together." McDonough: "I do believe that we’re building a good organization. I think that we’re not going to look at the increase from 3,400 to 14,000 season tickets and just assume that’s going to keep going. I’m very proud of where this franchise has gone. It’s wonderful to be nominated, one of four teams in all of professional sports. We certainly would love to win it, but it’s another step in the right direction" (CSN Chicago, 5/28).

Images From '09 Sports Business Awards

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