Sports Innovation Award

Arsenal Football Club

At Arsenal Football Club we have a large fan base, and we make it a priority to aim to ensure that every supporter feels welcome at the club, and that we are sufficiently working around our local area to inspire and support local children and families. Through our Arsenal for Everyone initiative, we have a wide variety of programmes, projects and facilities in place for supporters with all types of needs, however we wanted to do something innovative and positive, to help those who have a limited access to facilities and very little support, and to help make a real difference to their lives. We looked to address the difficulties of supporters and local people with autism and additional sensory based needs who lack access to important facilities, so we created a state of the art sensory room and pitch viewing facility within Emirates Stadium. This facility now offers supporters and local families access to enjoy football for the first time through a safe and suitable environment. This facility is now being used on match days and at club events, and by local people, charities and projects throughout the week, ensuring a positive long-term impact for many people.


GolfSixes is the short format of golf, initiated by the European Tour in 2017, designed to attract a new audience to golf whilst maintaining the integrity of the sport. Consumers want to watch shorter, and participation in golf is diversifying into shorter engagements. GolfSixes is a six hole country vs. country tournament across two days, with the six hole layout based around a central fanzone, with numerous engaging activities for all of the family designed to introduce a new audience to golf. The tournament was a resounding success, with the average age of ticket purchases 14% younger than other UK European Tour events and 42% higher proportion of new fans attending than other European Tour events. On TV, 19% of viewers had never watched a golf event before, and the tournament rated in the top quartile of European Tour events in 2017. The tournament also received excellent media coverage across all markets, and excellent feedback from our sponsors, with American Golf saying “GolfSixes was perfect for targeting a different type of golf audience. We gave lessons non-stop through the two days, and it was great to see lots of kids having a go.”

HRP Equestrian

HRP Equestrian was built from the ground up by single mother and business women, Helen Ross.

HRP Equestrian is a unique luxury Irish equestrian brand and inventors of the scientifically tested and proven pressure relief HRP Wing saddle pads. There is a small team of individuals working at HRP, who are determined to make a difference to the Equestrian market due to their belief in the products. Our customers are horse lovers who want to make a change to the comfort of their horse.

At HRP we want to make a worldwide difference to horses’ comfort. Nobody has ever before created a saddle pad that is proven to exert zero pressure on the horses’ spine and we want everyone to see the difference. Conventional pads produce some pressure on the horse, causing rubbing and sores on the horses back. The HRP Wing saddle pads have eliminated this problem through innovative design, and to add there are different designs for each equestrian discipline, all with a striking visual appearance.

iFollow – EFL

The launch of iFollow has been a game changer for the EFL, Clubs and fans. The streaming service has not only revolutionised the way overseas fans can follow their team but it’s provided a brand new revenue stream for Clubs, the first in several years.

It’s a move which few other major sports rights holders have yet attempted, instead favouring live streaming partnerships with social media sites or Amazon. The EFL took the forward thinking step of becoming a broadcaster in their own right – a first for English football – providing each Club with their own bespoke club branded iFollow product.

Over 30 million unique users have accessed the platform since it launched at the beginning of the 2017/18 season and this is set to grow with EFL League games (not Saturday 3pm games) being available to live stream in the UK from next season – another first for English football.

Manchester City Football Club

Manchester City Football Club launched a world first in football for the 2017/18 season by introducing a brand new hospitality concept: The Tunnel Club. The Tunnel Club redefines the customer experience on a global scale by bringing hospitality supporters closer to the action than ever before, as they watch their heroes walk out onto the pitch through the 250m² glass tunnel.

The Tunnel Club proves the first hospitality suite of its kind giving supporters the chance to stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the world’s greatest players, seeing the tension-fuelled rituals as the players get ready to meet the crowd. No other football club in the world offers this same behind-the-scenes access to the beautiful game, inviting guests to listen to match-day game tactics from the Club’s Performance Analysts and observe the post-match media interviews from the comfort of their luxurious seats.

Next Gen ATP Finals

The inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan took place in November 2017 with a fundamental mission to trial rule changes and innovation in a high profile real tournament environment. The tournament, organised by the ATP in partnership with the Italian Tennis Federation and the Italian National Olympic Committee, championed innovation throughout with the objective of not only promoting the next generation of players, but also targeting the next generation of fans.

The tournament took place under an innovative fast-paced and cutting-edge TV-friendly format, while at the same time showcasing various technological advances in the sport, including a world-first use of Hawk Eye Live. The progressive tournament also led to a pioneering new global partnership agreement between ATP, ATP Media and Amazon Prize Video.

Saints Foundation

Saints Foundation and The Big Issue collaborated to establish an innovative way of; changing negative misconceptions of vulnerable adults’ potential, creating further employment opportunities for Big Issue vendors and raising awareness of both organisation’s work in the local community.

Together, we produced a special edition publication, combining elements from a typical matchday programme and a Big Issue magazine. This special edition went beyond the reach of each parties’ usual buyers to create a unique mass audience. The publication was sold in the streets of Winchester with help from Saints players, Nathan Redmond, Oriol Romeu, Manolo Gabbiadini and Florin Gardos, and then again, by Big Issue vendors, at the first Premier League game of the season.

We received an overwhelmingly positive response from the public and media, 4,661 copies were purchased, generating £5,800 for the vendors.

It didn’t stop there, beyond our special edition, four Big Issue vendors are now in employment with Southampton Football Club and others have been equipped with valuable professional skills via an employability programme delivered by Saints Foundation, demonstrating how this innovative project has gone on to support people and change lives not only in the short term but has left a long term positive impact.

The Lane 360

Seven League are a sports digital agency, retained by Tottenham Hotspur to accelerate its digital business. Seven League Senior Consultant Jon Ford works as the Club’s Head of Content, with CEO Richard Ayers playing the role of Senior Digital Advisor.

Animal Vegetable Mineral (AVM) are a production agency specialising in 360, AR and VR, enlisted as supplier on behalf of the Club by Seven League.
After 118 years, Spurs’ world famous football stadium White Hart Lane closed on 14th May 2017, following a 2-0 victory over Manchester United.
The Club wished to “archive the atmosphere” of the venue its global fanbase called home.

Seven League and AVM collaborated to create an explorable model of the ground, packed with embedded rich media, delivering an average dwell time of half an hour. More than just a 360 film, The Lane 360 is a world-first content platform with infinite inventory available to sponsors.

The Lane 360 combines the opportunity (the venue and its closure), the technology (AVM’s development), the video capability (numerous 360 video clips captured by AVM, facilitated by 7L for the Club) and archive rich media underneath an overarching innovation concept.