The fifth Sports Industry Awards (SPIAs) took place on Tuesday night, with the region’s leaders in sport honoured during a glitzy gala event in Dubai.
Organised by Sport360° and held at Madinat Jumeirah’s Fort Island, the 2017 edition saw gold, silver and bronze gongs handed out across 16 categories.
The big winner on the night was adidas and Light Blue, who took home both the Best Integrated Sports Marketing Campaign of the Year and Best Sports Brand, Retail or Product Activation of the Year for their First Never Follows campaign.
Zayed Sports City was named Best Sport & Recreation Facility of the Year and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was named Best Live Experience at a Professional Sports Event, giving the UAE capital two big wins.
Abu Dhabi wasn’t done there with Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management/Starcom also claiming gold in the Best Use of Social Media in Sport of the Year campaign thanks to TriYAS’ Make yourself great again campaign.
You can see the full list of winners at SPIA 2017 below…
Best Integrated Sports Marketing Campaign of the Year
GOLD – Adidas (First Never Follows) LightBlue
SILVER – Shazam Me Garage366 SILVER
BRONZE – Access to Play Sun & Sand Sports
Best Sport Event Marketing Campaign of the Year
GOLD – du Football Champions Inspiratus
SILVER – Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Abu Dhabi Sports Council / IMG
BRONZE – Million Dirham Putt Emirates NBD / Wasserman
Best Use of Social Media in Sport of the Year
GOLD – TriYAS – Make yourself great again! Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management / Starcom
SILVER – beIN SPORTS EURO 2016 OMD / beIN SPORTS
Best Amateur Sport Event of the Year (UAE Only)
GOLD – FIGHTING FIT DUBAI, Powered by Under Armour ‘FIGHT NIGHT’ Nomad Productions
SILVER – Abu Dhabi Swimming Festival by Daman’s ActiveLife Professional Sports Group / Abu Dhabi Sports Council
BRONZE – The Color Run presented by Daman’s ActiveLife IMG
Best Amateur Sport Event of the Year (MENA Only)
GOLD – Dolphin Energy Doha Dash (Qatar) Professional Sports Group
SILVER – Sportscode 5k Sundays (Lebanon) Sportscode
Best Youth Development Project of the Year
GOLD – Eish Al Tahadi Saudi Telecom Company / Intigral
SILVER – Player Pathway Program UAE Rugby Federation
BRONZE – ADIB Future Champions League ADIB / IMG
Best Sport CSR Initiative of the Year
GOLD – ADIB Future Champions League ADIB / IMG
SILVER – Boost Turret ME
BRONZE – MoneyGram Cricket Ke Badshah – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. DPM Event Management / MoneyGram
BRONZE – Active Life by Daman Daman
Fair play and sportsmanship are quintessential to sport all over the world and seeing it instilled in young players is heart-warming.
That was just the case during a competitive and closely-fought game between Qatar and Palestine in the recent Jeem Cup, a tournament for under 12-year-olds.
A Palestinian player went to the ground after a high foot from his Qatari counterpart, before the referee asked Qatar to restart to the game by playing the ball back to the Palestine goalkeeper.
The ‘keeper managed to botch the return, the ball squirming through his hands and body and into the net, giving Qatar a 1-0 lead.
Rather than allow his team to capitalise on this advantage, Qatar and Aspire Academy coach Fouad Al Fodil instructed his team to let their opponents score.
The Qataris allowed the Palestinian player to run through unchallenged to score and restore parity in the game.
For the Qatari side, the match eventually ended in a 2-1 defeat but they certainly earned fans around the world for this gesture.
Al Sayel School could not have asked for a better start to their Abu Dhabi Jiu Jitsu World Festival after claiming a rich haul of medals on the opening day on Monday.
In the girls’ event at IPIC Arena, Shamma Al Mansoori (32kg white), Rawdha Al Hamoumi (40kg infant), Manal Al Jaidi (32kg junior) and Mahra Al Hameli (63kg junior), all of white belts, stood at the top of the podium after winning their bouts.
There was more success for the Abu Dhabi-based institution with Jawahir Noman (32kg) claiming silver, while Shaikha Akmeed (32kg infant) and Shamsa Al Shehhi (57kg junior) took bronzes.
Al Mansoori, 12, was delighted by her latest achievement and has lofty ambitions to go far in the sport. “I’m really happy to have won this medal,” she said. “I now want to improve and work hard to get the black belt.
“I’m really happy to win and will work harder from now on.”
More could be added by their collection on Tuesday when the teenagers take to the mat but their Brazilian head coach Gabriela de Ponte was thrilled with the impressive results.
“Most of the girls started to work with me and I’m delighted with the results,” she said. “Some of them like Rawdha and Shaikha have started training this year and ended up on the podium and so I’m more happy for them.”
She added: “Parents also turn up to support their girls which is the biggest change I would say. It boosts the morale of the child tremendously.”
In total more than 120 gold medals were won. Among the winners of their categories on Monday were Abeir Al Mesmari (48kg junior), Khadija Al Ali (44kg junior) and Reem Al Nuami (60kg infant).