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Winners of TheStadiumBusiness Awards 2014 Announced

Thu 5th Jun 2014 | Football Industry Events

The winners of TheStadiumBusiness Awards 2014 were announced last night at the RAF Museum, London, in front of an audience of more than 300 key industry executives.

Now in their fifth year, TheStadiumBusiness Awards recognise leadership, innovation and achievement in the delivery, operation and management of sports facilities globally.

The 2014 awards ceremony was hosted during TheStadiumBusiness Summit 2014 – the world’s leading meeting of stadium sports businesses, teams, clubs and operators – and 18 winners were announced in key categories.

“Congratulations to all of our 2014 finalists and especially to everyone who reached the podium,” commented Ian Nuttall, founder of TheStadium Business Awards.

“Our winners have showcased the very best of the global stadium sector – from great customer service and creative sponsorship through to crowd safety and visionary thinking.”

Hundreds of nominations were whittled down to create the shortlists, which were judged by an independent panel of industry figures, including:


  • Jamie Barkley, CEO, Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia
  • Tery Howard, VP Information Technology, Miami Dolphins, USA
  • Alain Belsoeur, Head - Stadia Strategic Committee, LFP - Ligue de Football Professionnel, France
  • Adrian Dishington, COO, Centerplate, UK
  • Gerry Toms, Former GM, Millennium Stadium, UK
  • Michele Uva, Director General, CONI Servizi, Italy
  • Donna-Maria Cullen, Executive Director, Tottenham Hotspur FC, UK
  • Ian Nuttall, Founder of TheStadiumBusiness / Xperiology, UK


The gala dinner was hosted by leading international stadium catering group Centerplate UK and supported by Vision Events, one of the UK’s top show production companies.

“We were absolutely delighted to partner with TheStadiumBusiness Awards at the RAF Museum,Hendon, in London,” announced Jon Davies, Commercial Director at Centerplate UK.

“It was a fantastic event and we pulled out all the stops to develop a memorable, mouth-watering menu for our friends from the global stadium sector.”

Category Winner: Leicester Tigers: ‘Family Friendly Extras’

Judging Panel comments: “Unique engagement workshops allowing young people to experience other non-sports activities such as dance, arts and crafts which are outside the remit of their core business...”

Category Winner: Kunal Malik, Former CTO, San Francisco 49ers, USA

Judging Panel comments: “For pioneering the future of the smart stadium... Kunal came to the 49ers with the vision to help build the technology team and develop the first prototype of the in-stadium mobile application. Kunal coordinated season-long testing and application at Candlestick Park so the app would be ready to be featured this upcoming season at the US$1bn+ Levi's Stadium in San Francisco. Kunal and his team have developed plans that will make Levi's Stadium the most technologically advanced in the NFL. Most recently, he led the development of a state-of-the-art data platform that will serve all aspects of 49ers and stadium business. Our winner has built the foundation for the team and stadium to enjoy the most innovative and productive tech group across the entire league.”


Category Winner: Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games (Sochi), Russia

Judging Panel comments: “Setting aside the political issues which followed (and the an unlit ring), the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi showcased a new era of stadium spectacle. Integrating pyrotechnics, video, special effects and amazing choreography, the Sochi ceremony set another benchmark for nextgen stadium experiences...”

Category Winner: IMG

Judging Panel comments: “These three letters are synonymous with our industry. The company founded by Mark McCormack continues to grow and lead the global sports and entertainment sector. IMG is commercially involved some 11 major sports and cultural events around the world every day and is the largest independent producer, packager, and distributor of sports programs in the world. Many of our teams, our venues and industry’s leading executives owe their existence to IMG’s success and with this award, we recognise its ongoing commitment to the sports venue sector...”

Category Winner: First Direct Arena (Leeds), UK

Judging Panel comments: “A new ‘super theatre’ design for an indoor, multi-purpose venue with excellent facilities for music, entertainment and sports events. The honeycomb lattice exterior façade is a signature design element”

Category Winner:  FAN360 Uphoria Engagement Platform by Sporting Innovations Inc.

Judging Panel comments: “The way in which our guests consume live sporting events is rapidly changing all over the world. The customer expectations of the technology experience is greater than ever. FAN360, with its universal ID, suggests an effective platform for not only tracking fan habits but also engaging with them – and ehancing the fan experience before, during and after any game. Ultimately, we need to make the live experience better than the sofa at home... Products such as FAN360 are helping to protect and grow our future customer base”

Category Winner: The Pavilion Renovation at Emirates Old Trafford, UK

Judging Panel comments: “The project represents an excellent example of the expansion and development of a major international sporting facility whilst preserving the character and appearance of a historic building...”

Category Winner: Lorenzo Santoni, Head of B Futura Project, Lega Serie B, Italy

Judging Panel comments: “Proof that determination does pay off in this business. Lorenzo Santoni has already created an impressive CV of previous roles and responsibilities throughout a short timeframe, and has made a considerable contribution towards venue and spectator relationships...”

Category Winner: Brighton & Hove Albion FC’s ‘Safety & Security Team’, UK

Judging Panel comments: “A fantastic stadium with a fantastic team devoted to the comfort, safety and security of spectators...”

Category Winner: The Arena at Stadium mk, UK

Judging Panel comments: “Although small in scale, this new hall provides the capacity and facilities to enhance not only matchday services but provide welcome secondary income from non-matchday hire for other events. This is a prudent financial model for smaller clubs...”

Category Winner: Global Stadium Sponsorship & Naming Rights Strategy by Allianz, Germany

Judging Panel comments: “Global insurance group Allianz has demonstrated its worldwide support to the sports and entertainment industry through its sponsorship of strategic stadia and venues in key markets. The Allianz name is becoming synonymous with sports, entertainment and customer service – from Europe (Allianz Park in London, Allianz Riviera Stadium in France and, of course, Allianz Arena in Munich) through to Australia (Allianz Park in Sydney) and on to South America (with Allianz Parque in Sao Paulo, Brazil)...”

Category Winner: IIHF World Ice Hockey Championships, Ericsson Globe, Sweden

Judging Panel comments: “Impressed by the scale and intensity of this logistically complex event, co-hosted in two countries (Sweden and Finland) including games delivered at this venue. Inspiring event that captured the attention of over 100s of thousands of fans... ”

Category Winner: Allianz Park: ‘Sustainability Focus’, UK

Judging Panel comments: “Environmental considerations have been a guiding principle at every stage of this stadium’s development – from site selection through to operational excellence. From the outset Saracens worked closely with key agencies and consultants to set challenging environmental targets for the stadium – not least a 25 per cent improvement on the already stringent London Plan Building Regulations for carbon emissions. Saracens met this target, and have even surpassed the mandatory figure aforementioned, clocking up a 28 per cent improvement in emissions and achieving a BREEAM excellent rating – the first UK sports stadium to do so.”

Category Winner: Cathy Cubbin, Retail Manager, Liverpool FC, UK

Judging Panel comments: “Cathy has an extremely professional approach, a pro-active attitude and strategic vision...”

Winner: Richard Peddie, former President, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Canada

Judging Panel comments: “In 1996 Peddie was named as the president and CEO of the Toronto Raptors, thus fulfilling a dream to one day run a basketball team. A dream that he first had while at the University of Windsor in the late sixties. In 1998 the Maple Leafs bought the Raptors and created Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment with Peddie as the President and CEO.

Winner: Julian Jenkins, former Commercial Director, Cardiff City FC (and now CEO, Geneve Sports, Switzerland)

Judging Panel comments: “We are recognising Julian's work in transforming Cardiff City from 'a club with no love' to a family-friendly football business welcoming home and away fans alike.
Julian was also pivotal in pioneering dynamic ticket pricing for major sports business in the UK and, to his credit, also steered the fans and club through the difficult PR challenge presented by the unwelcome leak of the team's proposed transformation from 'blue' to 'red' strip. There are not many sports professionals who have overcome such a ‘nightmare scenario’.
Ultimately, we are recognising Julian's ability and skill which is only surpassed by the passion he has put into everything he has done for Cardiff City FC – his childhood club and now a recognised leader in the football guest experience...”

Winner: Liz Cooper, Marketing Director, Arena Coventry Ltd (Ricoh Arena), UK

Judging Panel comments: “Liz is a modest character but a clear achiever. She is happy to work in the background and is firmly committed to providing the best possible experience to everyone who attends the Ricoh Arena. She has been pivotal in bringing major concerts and events to Ricoh Arena – thereby putting Coventry firmly on the UK map for gig goers.
She is a great leader of her colleagues and has demonstrated her professionalism and commitment to the business with her team to provide the best service...”

Category Winner: TELE2 Arena, Stockholm, Sweden

Judging Panel comments: “Stockholm’s TELE2 Arena represents the next stage of urban stadium development – integrating a retractable roof, multi-use event space, leading technology and diverse on-site hospitality offers. Within just one year the ‘arena-stadium’ has established a new benchmark not only in venue design and operations but also technology, notably with free wifi throughout. In addition the 12,000m2 Tolv development of shops and restaurants beneath the arena heralds new-thinking in enhancing both the matchday and non-matchday experience. A blueprint for future sports and entertainment destinations.”

These are the core values all leaders in the sports business should be employing in every decision they make. ”

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

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