|Sports Executive of the Year||USOC CEO Scott Blackmun|
|Sports League of the Year||USOC|
|Best in Sports Media||NBC Sports Group|
|Best in Property Consulting, Sales and Client Services||Legends|
|Sponsor of the Year||Anheuser-Busch|
|Sports Team of the Year||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Best in Sports Television||ESPN|
|Best in Corporate Consulting, Marketing and Client Service||Octagon|
|Athletic Director of the Year||Alabama's Mal Moore (posthumous)|
|Sports Event of the Year||'12 U.S. Grand Prix|
|Best in Digital Sports Media||ESPN Digital Media|
|Sports Facility of the Year||Barclays Center|
|Best in Talent Representation and Management||CAA Sports|
|Best in Sports Technology||MLB Advanced Media|
|Best in Sports Event and Experiential Marketing||Momentum Worldwide|
Events and Attractions
There were plenty of excited recipients last night at the Sports Business Awards gala in addition to the USOC for its two category wins. The following is a category by category breakdown, with videos from many of the winners.BEST IN SPORTS EVENT & EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING: Momentum Exec VP Rob McQueen was so startled his company won the award for Best Sports Event and Experiential Marketing Agency of the year that he told one of his competitors, Epic Sports, on his walk up to the stage that his money had been on them. "I was very surprised," he said. That said, Momentum was rewarded for what, by any standards, was a stellar year. The company put on activation for American Express at the U.S. Open golf and tennis tournaments, as well as the PGA Championship. The company's large experiential space for AmEx at the tennis event allows fans to play, have their serve analyzed, use a tennis Kinect station and plan their day at the tournament. Momentum also represents UPS for its sports activation events. But McQueen says he is proudest of the agency's work for the U.S. Army. "It is a challenging time," he said, "to recruit for the Army."BEST IN SPORTS TECHNOLOGY: MLBAM won Best in Sports Technology for its “At The Ballpark” mobile application, a product that tied together ticketing, ballpark amenity way-finding, seat upgrades, social media, player walk-up music, video highlights and other content in ways unprecedented in the industry. MLBAM Senior VP/Content Technology Joe Inzerillo credited the 30 MLB clubs for buying into the app concept and embracing the ability to customize the app elements for each ballpark. "One of the things we want to facilitate is that teams want to do things differently," Inzerillo said. "This was always designed to be as flexible as it could be. Unlike MLB.com At Bat, which is telling the story of the game, the narrative of the game, At The Ballpark is much more experiential."BEST IN TALENT REPRESENTATION & MANAGEMENT: A strong NFL Draft and the addition of several new Olympic clients helped CAA Sports win the Talent Representation and Management category. The agency represented six of the first 11 NFL draft picks in '12, including the second pick overall, Robert Griffin III. CAA went on to net endorsement deals for Griffin with adidas, Gatorade and Castrol, among others. The agency also scooped up Olympic clients such as Gold Medalists Gabby Douglas and Ryan Lochte. CAA Sports co-Head Mike Levine said, “Our football, baseball, basketball and hockey divisions all had great years. Our Olympic division was busy signing new clients. Those are a few highlights. ... There are so many other organizations out there that do this well. I’m just flattered and honored we were recognized.”
"culmination of an incredible journey"
award on behalf of late Mal Moore
committed to sports sponsorships
While the Sports Business Awards were presented last night in N.Y., reactions rolled in on Twitter. The following is a sampling of Twitter activity in response to the awards.
ESPN's Paul Finebaum: “How wonderful is this. @SBJSBD: The late Mal Moore (1939-2013, winner of Athletic Director of the Year. #sbjsba.”
MSU AD Mark Hollis: “@SethDavisHoops was working the dinner room at @SBJSBD 2013 Sports Business Awards better than Will Ferrel in the movie Campaign.”
MLB Business PR Dir Jeff Heckelman: “Great to see so many friends & former colleagues at the @SBJSBD awards #sbjsba.”
ESPN VP/Communications Mike Soltys: "ESPN Chair George Bodenheimer intros lifetime achievement winner Jerry Reinsdorf, 'a regular guy' with extraordinary results."
ESPN Senior Communications Dir Bill Hofheimer: "Was fortunate to have attended 2 top-notch industry events in NYC yesterday. Thanks to @SportsPRSummit and @SBJSBD. #SPRS #sbjsba."
Pac-12’s official Twitter feed: “The Pac-12 Networks crew had a great time at #sbjsba. Nominated for Best in Sports TV after only nine months on air.”
USA Swimming CMO Matt Farrell: "Worked for 7 total years at #USOC during some troubled times. Great to see them win #sbjsba Sports League of the Year tonight."
Business of Hockey blogger Luke Tully: "Future home of the Islanders, the Barclays Center, won Sports Facility of the Year at the Sports Business Awards. They'll be in good hands."
Four NFL owners this week said that Texans Owner Bob McNair is "a big reason they voted for Houston getting Super Bowl LI," according to John McClain of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. But it took "much more than his influence to bring a third Super Bowl to Houston." The owners also were "impressed with Houston's presentation." The presentation included a "video with this theme: Texans love their football, and they love the NFL." From Pee Wee football to "Friday night heroes in Katy and Lubbock, the owners got a glimpse of how much football means to the Lone Star State at every level." McNair following the presentation spent "five minutes speaking to the owners on Houston's behalf." One thing he "emphasized was a hassle-free Houston for the owners." Meanwhile, McClain writes: "The Astrodome had nothing to do with the owners' decision, but I'll make this prediction: It will be demolished before Super Bowl LI. I think it'll be cleared for 1,600 parking spaces" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/23).
ONTO THE NEXT: In Tampa, Stephen Holder noted the city and the Buccaneers are "expected to make a push" host Super Bowl LII in '18. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said, "I fully anticipate we will be back in the regular (bidding) rotation come (Super Bowl) 52." But Holder wrote it "won’t be easy to pull off," as there is "increased competition these days and an emphasis on elements that go beyond the weather in February." There "won’t be any real developments for a while because the NFL doesn’t extend invitations to bid on the next opening until the fall." When the time comes, Tampa "won’t be a slam dunk -- despite the region’s success hosting the game four previous times" (TAMPABAY.com, 5/22).
SLICE OF THE BIG APPLE PIE: In New Jersey, Linda Moss notes more than 1,000 attendees and 135 vendors yesterday "came to 'The Big Game Experience' at the Meadowlands Convention Center" in anticipation of Super Bowl L at Met Life Stadium. The event, sponsored by the Meadowlands Regional Chamber and the Meadowlands Liberty Convention & Visitors Bureau, was a "showcase for vendors of food, services, goods and location venues looking for opportunities to profit from the big game." The idea is to "make New Jersey, not just Manhattan, a destination for anyone trekking Northeast for the game, or the festivities before it" (Bergen RECORD, 5/23). In Newark, Stacy Jones notes Meadowlands Regional Chamber President & CEO Jim Kirkos "couldn't say enough that he wants businesses in New Jersey to grab as big a chunk of the pie as possible." Organizers of the event "put together two panels meant to help business owners figure out what to expect" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 5/23).