Arsenal, Manchester City, Everton, Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City and Doncaster Rovers were the English winners at the star-studded Stadium Business Awards which took place in Spain this week.
The awards recognise a broad spectrum of achievements across the global stadium industry.
Arsenal won the Project of the Year category for their Club Level at the Emirates Stadium. Manchester City's excellence comes in the field of Sponsorship & Sales where their continued innovation and excellence in fan marketing was recognised. Everton's community programme, Blackburn's StewardCall system and Cardiff's family area also picked up awards in the various categories. There was also an individual award in the 'Unsung Hero' category for Doncaster Rovers' Sports and Foundation Manager Eric Randerson.
The glittering awards ceremony took place during the Stadium Business Summit at FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium in Spain, in front of an audience of more than 220 senior sports industry professionals from around the globe, including representatives from Arsenal FC, Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup organising committee, Manchester City FC, Juventus FC, the Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, the Olympic family and more than 50 stadiums, arenas and major sports events.
“The judging panel was amazed this year by the incredible levels of commitment, ingenuity and above all passion to deliver outstanding venues and experiences for fans,” commented Michael Bolingbroke, COO, Manchester United FC, who chaired the judging panel this year.
“Designed to acknowledge our industry’s leaders, achievers and stars of tomorrow, the awards received even more entries than last year so winners should feel immensely proud,” commented Ian Nuttall, founder of The Stadium Business Awards.
Hundreds of nominations from around the world were narrowed down to a shortlist, judged by an independent panel of industry experts, including:
•Alexander V. Atamanenko, CEO, Donbass Arena, Ukraine
•Michael Bolingbroke, COO, Manchester United FC, UK
•Simon Clegg CBE, Chief Executive, Ipswich Town FC, UK
•Ninna Engberg, Managing Director, Stockholm Globe Arenas, Sweden
•David Manica, President, MANICA Architecture, USA
•Peter McKenna, Stadium Director, Croke Park, Ireland
•Patrik Meyer, Managing Director, Commerzbank Arena, Germany
•Chris Overholt, COO, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canada
Winners of the Stadium Business Awards 2011 with judging comments:
Venue of the Year – STAPLES CENTER, Los Angeles, USA
“for more than 10 years of continued success, for pushing the ‘entertainment envelope’ and for showing no let-up in delivering great customer service”
Sports Event of the Year – FIFA World Cup™ Final 2010 at Soccer City, South Africa
“the sporting calendar’s greatest event to a global audience of billions”
Guest Event of the Year – U2’s 360 Global Stadium Tour
“for an incredible breath-taking, record-breaking stadium spectacle that has delighted millions of fans around the world. The sheer scale of the show creates many challenges for the host venues – but it is overcoming these challenges that will help drive a better stadium experience”
Executive of the Year – Ebru Koksal, General Manager, Galatasaray FC, Turkey
“for delivering a new, world-class stadium in a difficult market... for refinancing the club’s debt.... for breaking down the boardroom barriers.... and for leading the way for more female executives in football”
Unsung Hero Award – Eric Randerson, Sports & Education Foundation Manager, Doncaster Rovers FC, UK
“for a lifetime dedicated to youth development programmes of the club and the community... teaching some of the town’s poorest children essential life skills... a one in a million, a true unsung hero that deserves some recognition after 30 years of dedication”
Customer Experience – The Family Area, Cardiff City FC, Wales
“for delivering real change at a stadium experience through the customer journey... with a focus on what families want and need... 6,000 tickets sold every game in the dedicated family section... a model for other clubs to follow”
Team Player of the Year – Jacky Isaac, HR and Operations Director, Ricoh Arena, UK
“for going beyond the call of duty to ensure that everyone at Ricoh Arena is working as part of ‘one team’ with a total focus on driving the business to success... for fulfilling a highly challenging role with great skill and diplomacy”
Safety & Security Award – Wembley Stadium Crowd Safety Team, Wembley Stadium, London
“for delivering world-class safety and security on a massive scale... over 1,600 safety staff, some 5,000 other stadium staff for 90,000 customers... since reopening in 2007 more than 7 million people have passed through the turnstiles without a single major incident”
Product Innovation – StewardCall system at Blackburn Rovers FC, UK
“has dramatically increased safety at comparatively little up-front cost and with minimal training and low ongoing cost”
Sustainability Award – Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Canada
“for meeting the sustainability challenge with practical, cost-effective and community-focused solutions... not easy in a busy building that is more than a decade old”
Industry Supplier – Daktronics Inc., South Dakota, USA
“for being a reliable and trusted partner to the sports and entertainment sector for so many years... for ongoing innovation and product development... and for showing a ‘can-do’ attitude to the numerous challenges in the sports business.”
Rising Star – Steven Salm, General Manager (Food & Beverage), Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., Canada
“for delivering on all fronts at the Air Canada Centre... for a genuine, caring, and educated approach which has won over customers and peers' loyalty... one of the most connected and creative minds in the restaurant industry... definitely one to watch (if we can keep him in the sports and entertainment sector)”
Project of the Year – Arsenal Club Level, Emirates Stadium by Arsenal FC and 20|20, UK
“for not resting on previous success and taking a new stadium to even greater success... for transforming an under-performing space and creating ‘club within club’ spaces to create unique, intimate experiences which appeal to increasingly diverse customer segments... for creating an environment that immerses fans in the beauty and detail of Arsenal’s rich history”
Outstanding Achievement – David Campbell (former President, AEG Europe and currently COO, Formula One)
“Leading the transformation of the much-maligned Millennium Dome into The O2 in London, David Campbell sounded a ‘wake-up’ call to the world’s sports and entertainment sector... In 2007 London got a much-needed, world-class entertainment venue but it was the total focus on customer service, integrated branding and fantastic content which continues to pressure every stadium and arena operator to re-consider their own customer experience..."
Community Award – Everton in the Community, Everton FC, UK
“this is a world-leading community programme that is delivering real benefits to Merseyside, the Northwest and now overseas... its pioneering approach, EITC has earned a reputation for the delivery of best practice, particularly in the area of disability provision... last year alone the programme has provided ongoing development opportunities for over 30,000 participants”
Architecture & Design – London 2012 Velodrome by Michael Hopkins & Partners, UK
“for cost-efficient, low mass, low carbon solution to one of the most challenging venues required for Olympic Games... Completed inside time and budget”
New Venue of the Year – AVIVA Stadium, Dublin, Ireland
“for on-time, under budget delivery of a high-quality stadium on a compact urban footprint with minimum disruption... combining football and rugby to sustain the business model... now embraced by the local community as a fantastic city and national asset...”
Sponsorship & Sales Award – Manchester City FC’s ongoing marketing campaigns
“it’s not a question of budgets but of using the opportunities wisely to deliver inclusive, engaging and social... as such, Manchester City FC’s marketing team consistently produce innovative and compelling fan marketing campaigns to engage City fans around the world.”