Discovery Sport Industry Awards Highlights Innovation

15 Jul 2015

Once again the Discovery Sport Industry Awards celebrated the best of the best of sport business. A total of 16 awards were presented to a room packed with over 1,200 high profile guests from the South African sport industry at the Sandton Convention Centre on 11th February.

 It’s hard to top a winning year consecutively, but Playmakers did it again, taking the Award for Agency of the Year for a fourth year.  Playmakers extended key client relationships, opened two new offices, and realised significant turnover and revenue growth.  Delivering work in 11 African markets, including Kenya with client Absa Barclays, and launched the Playmakers Education Fund in partnership with The Vega School in a bid to foster creativity in the industry. Their innovative approach delivered exceptional results for their clients across the board in 2015. 

Headline partner Discovery’s chief marketing officer, Dinesh Govender summarised the night by saying “As a nation, we love and enjoy sport. Whether it’s as fierce competitors or proud supporters, sport is weaved into our DNA. As a vibrant sporting nation, we can stand tall knowing we have an exceptional sports industry, and determined athletes who flourish on the world stage.  Tonight’s Awards recognise this inspired role, in giving people a unique and thrilling sporting experience used in inventive ways to uplift our nation”.

Award presenters included current Proteas Hashim Amla, JP Duminy and Faf du Plessis.  The Springboks were out in force with Adrian Strauss, Jesse Kriel and Trevor Nyakane, alongside former Springbok Butch James also walking the red carpet. 

Other celebrities included Comrades champion Caroline Wöstmann, soccer legend Lucas Radebe and Paralympic champion Natalie Du Toit.   The event also welcomed international sport starts Josh Lewsey (former England rugby player) and Nasser Hussain (former England cricket captain).

The prestigious awards ceremony hosted by Dan Nicoll, called to the stage those recognised for their cutting edge work, inspiring and innovative campaigns.

Winners included Brand of the Year, sponsored by Tsogo Sun awarded to Comrades Marathon for its unparalleled camaraderie.  The event celebrated its 90th anniversary last year bearing testament to one of South Africa’s favourite sporting institutions.

One of the highlights of the evening was the Deloitte's Outstanding Achievement to South African Sport Award which couldn’t have been bestowed on a more deserving and honourable gentleman, Johan ‘Duif’ du Toit.  Presented by John Hogg, Picture Editor at The Star, to Duif’s wife Adele and son De Villiers, as Lee Warren from Gallo Images took a wide angled shot of the standing ovation that Duif received.

The Castle Lager’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Sam Tshabalala, the first black man to win the Comrades Marathon, by Two Oceans and Comrades Marathon winner, Caroline Wöstmann and probably the most prolific Ultra Marathon runner Bruce Fordyce.

Stiff competition was found in the Best Live Experience Award category, sponsored by Sandton Convention Centre, but Cape Town 10s 2015 walked away with this year’s award for their event which filled the gap between professional and social sport.   The event sold out to 25,000 spectators and more than 400 rugby and netball matches played over one weekend.

Sponsorship of the Year Award backed by TST went to The Absa Cape Epic which provides the perfect platform to communicate the brand’s purpose of ‘helping people achieve their ambitions in the right way’.

“Sport sponsorship in South Africa and across the rest of the continent has grown tremendously.  The insightful and inspiring campaigns that we have witnessed here tonight show just how competitive sponsorship has become.  Congratulations to all winners, and entrants, I am so proud of our industry we truly have lifted the bar tonight”, stated James Monteith, Managing Director Sport Industry Group, South Africa.

The full list of winners can be found here.

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