A Wealth of Opportunities: The Sports Business Awards

The Sports Business Awards held at the Marriott Marquis in New York City saw a record crowd of nearly 1,200 people. The event had an impressive line-up of sports leaders, including NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and MLS Commissioner Don Garber, NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman, ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro, and Amazon’s Vice President of Global Sports Video Marie Donahue. The event was hosted by ESPN’s Elle Duncan and Jay Williams, while Emmy Award-winning actor Jon Hamm presented NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The event saw 15 individual awards presented, including a Celebration of Achievement and Lifetime Commendation to the Sloane Stevens Foundation. The women’s sport was a prominent theme of the event. Washington Spirit’s Michelle Kang won the inaugural Deal of the Year award for the NWSL’s acquisition of the team. Angel City FC won the Team of the Year award, and Wasserman won the Talent Representative of the Year award.

The U.S. Open won the Sporting Event of the Year trophy, while Fox’s landmark year was marked by groundbreaking rights deals with the Big Ten and successful broadcasts of major events such as the Super Bowl, World Cup, and World Series. The NFL won Sports League of the Year for the first time since 2010. In January, the 111-year-old Fenway Park won Sports Facility of the Year honors.

The NHL celebrated Sports Breakthrough of the Year with a digitally enhanced dashboard, a marketing strategy they’ve been working on for years. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman received the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Mark Bryan Brown, SBJ Editor-in-Chief and Publisher Abe Madokur, and the Stanley Cup watched as the presentation was made. The event was concluded with a theme fundamental to the evening, the power of sport to change lives.

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