SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities Awards 2016: New York City Triumphs at SportAccord Convention






Lausanne, April 20, 2016: New York City has been named as the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports City of 2016, triumphing over previous winners London and Melbourne in a tightly-fought contest.

The announcement took place on 20 April at the annual SportAccord Convention who are this year’s Official Sponsor, during an awards ceremony that also included trophies being presented to the best cities according to Size (based on population), and for Best Newcomer and Best Home-Grown Event.

Awards had already been handed out the day previously to representatives from several cities across the categories of Hosting, Venues, Transport and Infrastructure, Accommodation, Event Strategy, Legacy, Quality of Life, Public Support/Tourism, Security and Marketing/Promotional Ability/Branding.
Thirty cities out of an original list of 150 made the cut to be considered the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports City of 2016 based on their major event portfolios. Representing all the continents in the world, a subsequent shortlist of 30 cities, included many candidates that featured in the five previous editions between 2006 and 2014, as well as some interesting new entrants. Following a final round of voting by a panel of esteemed external judges, a final list of 10 contenders for the overall title of Ultimate Sports City of 2016 emerged. In alphabetical order these were: Auckland, Calgary, Copenhagen, Glasgow, London, Los Angeles, Manchester, Melbourne, New York and Tokyo. The list included previous overall winner Melbourne (which triumphed in 2006, 2008 and 2010) and London (winner in 2012 and 2014).

The award of overall SportBusiness Ultimate Sports City2016 to New York City represents the first time that the American city has won the award. Speaking about the award, Head Judge and Founder of Ultimate Sports Cities Rachael Church said: “New York City is a well-deserved winner of the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports City title, triumphing this year after its previous best place of 4th in 2012. When it comes to its major events strategy, New York really is a city that never sleeps, balancing a bursting portfolio of high quality annual events against a wide variety of one off events of national and international significance. The Big Apple scored highly in many categories, winning Best Public Support/Tourism in recognition of its high level of attendances at sports events such as the US Open Tennis Championships and reflecting the wide range of extra-curricular activities available for visitors to sports events in the city. Furthermore New York is a city that has turned the disappointment of a failed 2012 Olympic Bid into a working case study for successful urban regeneration proving that losing a major event bid can still be a form of winning. Those factors, combined with a strong city brand and imaginative marketing prowess, mean that New York City truly is the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports City of 2016.”

In addition to announcing the overall award of SportBusiness Ultimate Sports City, the winner of the coveted ‘SportBusiness Ultimate Sports City At 10 Anniversary Award’ was unveiled as Melbourne, Australia. The award was introduced to celebrate the city with the greatest impact over the 10 years that the awards have been in existence. Melbourne – the Ultimate Sports City of 2006, 2008 and 2010 – beat off stiff competition from Berlin, London, New York and Sydney for the title. “I am not surprised that Melbourne came out on top for this special 10 year anniversary award,” said Church. “The city has been either the winner or runner up in the awards in the previous five editions of Ultimate Sports Cities and boasts a major events strategy that many other cities have since used as a best practice guide for their own strategies. The city has sports venues that are not only the best in the world but that are at the heart of the city, fostering a greater sense of engagement with the general public and fans when events take place. A highly supportive government at local, regional and national level also means Melbourne offers a safe pair of hands to event organisers in a stunning setting.”

The Special Award for Best Newcomer also went to Australia with Gold Coast, host of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, triumphing in its first outing in the rankings.

Meanwhile, the Special Award for Best Home-Grown Event went to Copenhagen in Denmark for its innovative parachuting freestyle Swoop Challenge that took place in 2015.

The winner of the Best XS Sports City (with a population of 600,000 or below) was Manchester, England and the winner of the Best Small Sports City (population between 600,000 and 1.3m) was Glasgow, Scotland. Best Medium Sports City (1.3m to 3m) was Auckland, New Zealand and the Best Large Sports City (3m to 8m) went to Melbourne, Australia. Meanwhile, the Best XL Sports City (above 8m) was won by London, England.

Final Overall Rankings
Rank City Size Category
1 New York City XL
2 London XL
3 Melbourne L
4 Auckland M
5 Glasgow S
6 Calgary S
7 Copenhagen M
8 Manchester XS
9 Los Angeles L
10 Tokyo XL
11 Sydney L
12 Berlin L
13 Paris M
14 Singapore L
15 Gold Coast XS
16 Vancouver S
17 Dubai M
18 Amsterdam S
19 Doha S
20 Cardiff XS
21 Kuala Lumpur M
22 Stockholm S
23 Rio de Janeiro L
24 Moscow XL
25 Beijing XL
26 Kazan S
27 Baku M
28 Durban S
29 Sochi XS
30 PyeongChang XS

Full List of Winners and Awards:

Winner, SportBusiness Ultimate Sports City 2016 – New York City

Winner, Anniversary Award, Ultimate Sports City at 10 – Melbourne

Winner, Best XS Sports City – Manchester

Winner, Best Small Sports City – Glasgow

Winner, Best Medium Sports City – Auckland

Winner, Best Large Sports City – Melbourne

Winner, Best XL Sports City – London

Winner, Special Award, Best Newcomer – Gold Coast

Winner, Special Award, Best Home-Grown Event – Copenhagen (Swoop Challenge)

Winner, Best Hosting  – London

Winner, Best Venues – Melbourne

Winner, Best Transportation – Manchester

Winner, Best Accommodation – Tokyo

Winner, Best Event Strategy – Auckland

Winner, Best Legacy – Glasgow

Winner, Best Quality of Life and Economic Impact – Vancouver

Winner, Best Public Support/Tourism – New York City

Winner, Best Security  – Auckland

Winner, Best Marketing and Branding – London

About the Awards

The ‘SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities Awards’ are the internationally recognised and longest established rankings of the world’s top sports hosts and have been held every two years since 2006 when they were founded by Head Judge Rachael Church.

For the first time since the awards were launched in 2006, the shortlisted cities were able to upload submissions (which were assessed by the judging panel) using specialist cloud-based software developed by SportBusiness Group’s measurement evaluation partner PerforMind™. Over 1,100 fields of data were uploaded covering the following categories: Hosting, Venues, Transport and Infrastructure, Accommodation, Event Strategy, Legacy, Quality of Life, Public Support/Tourism, Security and Marketing/Promotional Ability/Branding.

The Judging Panel:

Rachael Church, Founder and Head Judge, SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities
Dr Trish Bradbury, Senior Lecturer, Massey University
Mark Cornish, Head of Global Partnerships, Sponsorium International/PerforMind
Paul Dunphy, Major Events Consultant, SportBusiness Intelligence
Severine Hubert, Managing Director, JTA
Paul Freudensprung, Event Operations Director, bcn eventfactory
Abimbola Ilo, Director, Integral
Jon Tibbs, Chairman, JTA

For further information about SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities or PerforMind contact Robin Hume at robin.hume@sportbusiness.com

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