Sport Industry Awards Judging Process will be one of the most transparent and stringent procedures of its kind. We have a 2-step judging process comprising Steering for shortlisting and thereafter Judging for final results adjudication. The Steering panel is made up of more than 50 key industry experts with over 60 hours of intensive steering. Conducted in two stages and all overseen by an independent adjudicator, the process will begin with the entries being reviewed and judged by the Awards Steering Committee, featuring figureheads and industry heavyweights, to produce the Official Shortlist. The Judging panel will then decide the final winner of each category announced at the Sport Industry Awards.


Part A) The Steering Process:


  • We set side one week for the steering period.
  • The Steering Committee are experts in the respective fields and are specifically focussed on particular award categories.
  • The Steering Committee is nominated by Sport Industry Group. Each member of the Steering Committee have to accept the role within a particular category. Each member can serve on more than one category.
  • Each category takes between two and three hours to shortlist.
  • Each day is broken into 4 sessions which starts at 07:30 and concludes at 18:30.
  • Sitting in on each steering session are four to six external Steerers, an Independent Adjudicator (from Deloitte), a Sport Industry Group facilitator, a Sport Industry Group note taker and a Sport Industry Group Event Manager.
  • Before the steering session takes place, each member of the Steering Committee is asked to sign a Confidentiality Agreement Form.
  • The Event Manager collects these and files them immediately.
  • Copies of the Entry Terms and Conditions will be available for the Steering Committee to refer to if necessary.
  • Each Steerer will have a ‘mark sheet’ with A) the alphabetical order in which the entries are going to be read through and B) two sections where each judge can make mark the entry and identify their shortlist in order of preference (top six). An additional page is available for notes to support the marks and rankings is provided.
  • Notepads and pens will be available and Steerers are encouraged to take notes on each entry to refer to when deciding the Official Shortlist at the end.
  • The Independent Adjudicator, Deloitte, and Sport Industry Group Note Taker are also required to take notes for every single category and submit their notes to Sport Industry Group once the entire steering process has ended, in order to refer to these notes at the Official Judging Day. The Adjudicator’s role is also to ask each of the external Steerers whether they may have a potential conflict of interest with an entry - i.e they may have worked on that campaign in previous years therefore could potentially have a biased opinion. It is then the Adjudicators call, based on guidelines developed by The SIG Awards Committee, as to whether they should be allowed to vote for this entry to make it to the shortlist or not. Any conflicts of interest must be noted clearly.
  • The facilitator opens each session by talking about the structure of the session, introduces the category being judged and reads the criteria. The criteria is listed on the first page of each entry form and is printed on the Mark Sheet for everyone’s reference.
  • Once the session starts, the Event Manager will hand out the Supporting Materials and/or play a supporting video relating to the relevant entry.
  • At the end of the session, each Steerer will be asked to list their Top six, in order of marks and preference. The Adjudicator will tally all the votes, note the marks and the panel will then mutually agree the Official Shortlist of five in an order of preference. The steering committee will need to advise the Sport Industry Group facilitator if they believe there are more or less candidates (than the prescribed five) that need to be shortlisted and the reasons thereof. The Sport Industry Group facilitator will need to decide on the amendment to the prescribed five on the shortlist. The facilitator will also be able to increase the shortlist to 6 at their own discretion.  
  • Once the steering session is over, the Event Manager will then collect the supporting material for the Official Shortlist which will then be used again for the Official Judging Day. The event manager will also collect all mark sheets and notes.
  • The Official Shortlist is then given to the final Judging Panel who will decide the winner of each category announced at the Discovery Sport Industry Awards.

Part B) i) Official Judging Day

  • The Official Judging Day is hosted after the steering process.
  • Judges are selected by the Sport Industry Group Awards Committee based on the above awards and key requirements for these awards. A member of the steering committee can be a Judge. The chairperson of the Judges is seen to be independent of any of the entries shortlisted. The chairperson will not serve on the Steering Committee.
  • Before judging day, all of our judges are emailed a WeTransfer link which contains the entry forms which they must read in advance ahead of the judging day (The Shortlisted Entries).
  • In advance of Judging day, Agency Judging Day (as per the below) would have taken place and the results shall be presented at Official Judging day.
  • They are assigned to a group, whose focus will be on eight categories only.
  • In addition to the allocated categories, all judges will be asked to read over the entry forms for all Campaign of the Year, Brand of the Year and Agency of the Year shortlisted submissions.
  • In the morning session, all judges will view the live pitches for Brand of the Year and Campaign of the Year, where 2 representatives from each entrant will deliver a presentation.
  • Once these pitches have finished, judges will be divided into their specific groups for discussions on the awards. A facilitator will be assigned to each room, who will be present to guide the group and to show all judges the supporting material that has been submitted with each entry.
  • During the afternoon session, we will ask a representative from each group to present their conclusions to the entire Judging panel. The facilitator will introduce each category. Thereafter, the representative will present their findings, noting the chosen top two, the recommended winner, with clear and definitive reasoning behind the decisions, ahead of a vote from the full panel. Post the vote, the results will be cross-checked against the rankings of the shortlisting and rubber stamped by the Independent Adjudicator. If a winner, is not in the top three as prescribed by the steering committee then discussion will be held with regards to the winner and the listed top three. The facilitator might request a re-vote depending on the discussion. The Independent Adjudicator’s decision shall be final.
  • The Judges will have decided the winners for each category, in the case of a tie or where they cannot agree on the final winner, the Independent Adjudicator will defer to the Steering Committee rankings.


Part B) ii) Agency Judging Day

  • Before the Judging Day, a smaller group of judges will travel to each shortlisted agency to experience the vibrancy and atmosphere of each entrant. The group will be tasked with evaluating each entrant and selecting the winner of the category.
  • Attending these visits will be 3 Official Judges, the Independent Adjudicator and 2 SIG representatives, including the event manager and a note-taker.
  • Judges will have the Agency entry form on hand. Each visit will last 30 minutes. This time will include an 8 minute presentation (based on the entry criteria to substantiate the information provided),  a 7 minute Q&A and a 15 minute window to offer the Judging Sub-Committee a feel for the culture of their office, the people within it and what makes their agency different.
  • After the conclusion of these visits, the Judging panel will go through the normal judging process and conclude on the winner.


Part B) iii) Special awards

  • On Judging day, there are 3 awards, that have a unique entry process and thus are explained separately.
  • Leadership in Sport Award:
    • The shortlist is developed by The Sport Industry Group Awards committee after canvassing a variety of key industry stakeholders for input
    • The shortlist is developed using the same method that the steering committees utilise, except that no one has to enter themselves in the category, but entrants will be accepted at no cost
    • Each candidate is required to accept the nomination and shortlisting
    • Each candidate will provide a short response to pre-selected questions as part of their entry which are directly linked to the criteria of the award
    • There shall be reference checks done on submissions
    • Thereafter, the process of judging will be the same as all other entries which the response sheets being used as each candidates submission
  • Sport Industry Personality of the Year:
    • The shortlist is developed by The Sport Industry Group Awards committee after canvassing a variety of key industry stakeholders for input
    • The shortlist is developed using the same method that the steering committees utilise, except that no one has to enter themselves in the category, but entrants will be accepted at no cost
    • Each candidate is required to accept the nomination and shortlisting
    • Each candidate will provide a short blurb on themselves (as prepared by the Sport Industry Group Awards Committee and approved by the candidate)
    • Thereafter, the process of judging will be done digitally by the industry
    • Each vote needs to be linked to an email address that is active on the Sport Industry Group database.
  • Sport Lifetime Achievement Award:
    • The Sport Industry Group Awards committee award the award to the winner based on the agreed criteria
    • The announcement is made at the awards
    • Judges have no role in the adjudication