Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Cycling Tour de France Trophy Stolen

The trophy presented to the 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas has been stolen from a temporary exhibition in Birmingham. The trophy is a handmade porceline bowl on stem, hand painted and decorated with gold trim, and made in the legendary French ceramics heartland of Sevres. The trophy disappeared during a cycling show at the NEC Birmingham where Thomas's team, Team Sky, were exhibiting it along with two other Grand Tour trophies won by the team. Co-incidently, Birmingham was also the location for another famous trophy theft when the original F.A. Cup was taken from the window of a shop in 1985. That silver trophy, which had been made in Birmingham and was won that year by the city's Aston Villa team, was never recovered. It remains to be seen whether the 2018 Tour de France trophy will be returned or found, but at least it is possible to obtain a replacement. The trophy is actually called the 'Coupe Omnisports' and was designed in 1971 by illustrator and engraver Roger Vieillard. As its name suggests, this trophy was awarded for a multitude of different sports and achievements, and was first presented to Tour de France winners in 1975. Since then a new iteration of the same trophy has been presented to the tour winner every year, except 2013 when Chris Froome received a unique, larger version in recognition of the centenary of the Tour de France. The trophies, along with smaller versions, are all still crafted in the same state-owned Sevres workshop and continue to be used for a range of sporting and official presentations. Commenting on the disapparance of the 2018 Tour de France trophy, Geraint Thomas said: 'It goes without saying that the trophy is of pretty limited value to whoever took it, but means a lot to me and to the team.' In fact the resale value of these beautiful trophies may be even lower, as in 2010 a full-size version awarded to powerboat racer Robert Spalding in 1985 was put up for auction and sold for just £168. For Spalding, and for Thomas and his team, we're sure the value is priceless. For a choice selection of universal Crystal Awards Trophies or traditional silver trophy cups visit

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Price of a Trophy Versus Value of a Trophy

A sad story reported by the Daily Mail yesterday about football legend Ian Wright having some of his trophies put up for auction. We were interested to see the valuations put on some of the trophies - for instance, Wrighty's Golden Boot trophy, awarded for his 29 goals in the 1991-92 season, was up for sale at £6,000. The report also suggested that a Goal of the Month trophy, awarded for his goal against Swindon in 1995, was also for sale at £6,000 though there may be some confusion between the two trophies as surely an end-of-season Golden Boot should be worth more than a monthly trophy? The story, while of course distressing for Wright, also raises the age-old issue of value versus cost. To Wright, we're sure, these awards are priceless. And indeed even though he may not have possession of the trophy, he still has the honour of the award ... no-one can buy that (unless they're bribing their way to the highest goal tally). But nevertheless someone has put a price on these trophies, a price that is much higher than the cost to produce the item, but much lower than the value of the award. Presumably the prices in this case are memorabilia prices, based on the provenance of the trophies and items. Which is slightly different to buying trophies to award to players in your club, league or competition. For that, there are a number of online trophy shops selling brand new, unused, football trophies ... you can even buy a new football golden boot trophy to award, at very reasonable cost, but just remember it is the achievement itself that gives value to the trophy.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Serena's Joy at Tennis Trophy Win

At the start of this year's Wimbledon tennis tournament Serena Williams, a four-time winner of the women's singles title, was quoted as saying 'I love holding up trophies'. And boy did she prove it when, after winning her fifth singles title, she was pictured jumping for joy with the iconic Ladies' Singles Trophy. To be fair, that quote came from a longer answer to press conference speculation about quitting tennis, and in particular was a reply to the question 'what is it that you love about the sport', and it is worth quoting her answer in full as it encapsulates everything about striving, achieving and succeeding. She said: "I love competing. I love the challenge. I love holding up trophies. So I guess if ever I feel that I can’t do that, then maybe I won’t play anymore. That’s what I love. I love stepping out on that court, having that atmosphere, that moment. That moment is all about me. Maybe it’s a little selfish, but I love that feeling." And with such a passion for both the sport and for success, it is fitting that the trophy she received was as prestigious as the Wimbledon Grand Slam tournament itself. The The Ladies' Singles Trophy is a silver salver, sometimes referred to as the 'Rosewater Dish' or 'Venus Rosewater Dish'. It was made in 1864 by Messrs Elkington and Co. Ltd of Birmingham (England) at a grand cost of 50 guineas, and was first presented as a Wimbledon trophy to the champion when the challenge round was introduced in 1886. The 18 3/4in diameter salver is made of sterling silver and is a copy of an electrotype by Caspar Enderlein from a pewter original in the Louvre. It features a central boss surrounded by four reserves. The theme of the decoration is mythological, with a figure of Sophrosyne (the personification of temperance and moderation) depicted on the central boss and the four reserves each containing a classical god, together with elements. The remainder of the surface is decorated with gilt renaissance strapwork and foliate motifs in relief against a rigid silver ground. Like all winners, Serena doesn't get to keep the trophy; instead it resides in the museum at the All-England club. However since 1949 all champions have received a miniature (8in diameter) replica of the trophy salver. This win brings Serena's current (July 2012) record of tennis Grand Slam titles to 14 womens singles titles, 13 womens doubles title (out of 13 finals) and two mixed doubles titles. Plus, of course, two Olympics gold medals. That's some haul for a 30 year old, and after seeing her joy at winning the Wimbledon trophy again this year it seems that questions about quitting are rather premature. For a choice selection of silver salvers see That UK-based website also sells a select range of tennis trophies, awards and medals. Your tennis competition or event may not be quite as prestigious as the All England club's annual tournament, but the joy of winning needs to be recognised and rewarded at all levels.

Monday, July 20, 2009

UK Jewellery Awards 2009

The winners of the UK Jewellery Awards 2009 have been announced at a gala presentation ceremony at London's Grosvenor House Hotel. The focus of the 2009 awards was Italian design and included the introduction of an Italian Jewellery Designer of the Year Award. Media partner in the Awards, QVC, had some of its top jewellery products showcased in the catwalk show at the presentation ceremony, as well as providing the goody bags containing business gifts and samples for the guests. QVC also aired scenes from the catwalk in a special TV show and run an hour-long special feature Italian gold jewellery. The awards trophies consisted of a spectacular mirrored plaque decorated with the awards logo and details of each award. The full lists of awards, winners and sponsors follows: Italian Jewellery Designer of the Year, sponsored by the Italian Jewellery Awards and Campania Region, won by Alessio Boschi at Autore; Best Men's Watch Collection winner was IWC Pilots watch; Best Women's Watch Collection winner was Chanel J12; Best Catwalk Jewels of the Year award, sponsored by Swarovski, was won by Kirt Holmes; Independent Retailer of the Year award, sponsored by Casio, won by Nicholas James, London; Jewellery Brand of the Year award, sponsored by The Jewellery Show at Spring Fair, won by Monica Vinader; Platinum Bridal Collection of the Year award, sponsored by Platinum Guild International, won by Simon Pure; Retail Employer of the Year, sponsored by Pursuit, won by Beaverbrooks; Retail Star of the Year award winner was Debbie Swan of Beaverbrooks, East Kilbride; Jewllery Designer of the Year award winner was Shaun Leane; Jewellery Website of the Year award winner was; Multiple Retailer of the Year award, sponsored by Clogau Gold, won by Beaverbrooks; Supplier of the Year award, sponsored by TH March, won by Sequel; Young Designer of the Year award, sponsored by CMJ Buying Group, won by Bobby White.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

£168k Corporate Gifts for Footballers

The claims today that footballers from English Premiership club Manchester City each received a gift of a watch worth £168,000 raises a number of issues, and somewhere on that list is the whole issue of how to incentivise people, how to reward them, and how to show recognition appropriate to their status. The Franck Muller timepieces were apparently presented to the players by the club's owner, Sheikh Mansour, as he welcomed them to a royal reception at his palace in Abu Dhabi. Of course, context is everything, and when you are one of the world's richest people and a member of royalty then the scope of suitable corporate gifts is in an entirely different league to mere businesses and organisations. And in this particular case the recipients, professional footballers from the richest league in the world, are all millionaires themselves. But even so, a gift that is worth more than a month's wages for those millionaire footballers does raise a question about proportion. Clearly the gift-giver wanted to create a certain impression on the recipients - as well as a wider audience - and that intention may have included demonstrating his generosity, showing his respect for the players, and making a statement about the sheer scale of his wealth. But as owners and managers of businesses of all sizes will attest, it is a delicate question of whether a gift is received with the feelings that were intended, or whether in fact it creates an entirely different reaction. In the case of lower paid workers, for instance, a gift that amounted to one month's wages may easily be seen as inappropriate. Another issue raised is that of incentivising people. In this case the gift - and the lavish reception - were simply a gesture of recognition and also, perhaps, intent. It was not a reward for any particular achievement. In fact, if reports are to be believed, the Manchester City players will share a jackpot of £10m if they finish in the top four of the English Premiership at the end of the 2009-10 season. That performance bonus is not for actually winning anything, simply for finishing in a place that qualifies them for the following season's Champion's League. Again, this raises the question of the appropriateness of performance incentives, particularly at the higher levels of professional sport where actually it seems to be recognition of ability - by way of trophies, medals and awards - that really motivates the top players. It will be an interesting experiment at Man City this coming season for many reasons, one of which will be the knock-on effect on other clubs of the huge business gifts and incentive bonuses offered to the players.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Merged Awards Recognise UK IT Industry

The newly-merged BCS & Computing UK IT Industry awards have announced an extension to the deadline for entries, to 7th August. The 2009 UK IT Awards are a new venture between BCS, the professional body for those working in IT, and Computing, the magazine providing insight for IT leaders. These new awards build on the success of two previous awards schemes, the BCS IT Industry Awards and the Computing Awards for Excellence. The new awards, which culminate in a gala ceremony at London's Battersea Park Events Arena on 12th November, aim to create a platform for the entire UK IT profession to showcase and celebrate best practice, innovation and excellence. With the extended reach of the two partners, the UK IT Awards 2009 will see 25 awards categories in total and will combine the most popular prizes from the previous awards schemes. A new judging scheme will also combine the best elements of the former awards as well as offering a role for sponsors in the judging process. It remains to be seen what design the new awards trophies will take - last year the BCS Awards provided a crystal hexagon award whereas the Computing awards featured flat glass plaques for trophies. The categories to be recognised in the new awards are:

Individual Excellence Awards:

  • IT Leader of the Year
  • Young IT Professional of the Year
  • APM Group Project Manager of the Year
  • Systems Developer of the Year
  • IT Service & Support Professional of the Year
  • Business Analyst of the Year

Organisational Excellence Awards:

  • Best IT Strategy of the Year
  • Best SME IT Strategy of the Year
  • Diversity in IT Award
  • Best IT Supplier of the Year
  • Best Small IT Supplier of the Year
  • Promoting IT Professionalism Award

Project Excellence Awards:

  • Innovative Project of the Year
  • Community Project of the Year
  • Private Sector Project of the Year
  • Public Sector Project of the Year
  • Environmental Project of the Year
  • IT Project Team of the Year

Technology Excellence Awards

  • Research & Development Achievement of the Year
  • Information Security Product of the Year
  • Internet Product of the Year
  • Mobile Product of the Year
  • IT Infrastructure Product of the Year
  • Best New Product Developed in the UK

Editor's Award:

  • Outstanding Contribution to UK IT

Monday, July 13, 2009

UK Internet Industry Awards 2009

Friday night saw the gala presentation ceremony for the 2009 UK Internet Industry Awards. Hosted at London's Grosvenor Marriott hotel, the black tie dinner and awards event included the announcement of winners in 14 separate categories related to the provision of internet services in the UK (details below). One item in particular in the pre-event publicity and marketing that caught our eye was this page detailing information, feedback, testimonials and business benefits from the 2008 event. Maybe we just haven't been taking notice, or maybe its a sign of the current economic climate, but this is the first time I've really noticed an event promoting itself on the direct business benefits of attendance, rather than the glamour, prestige or entertainment aspects of the event. Clearly, the 2008 event was followed-up with a feedback gathering process, and this allowed the organisers to highlight the fact that "over half the respondents made new business contacts" and that "over 84% ... considered the seniority of attendees as either 'good' or 'excellent'". Well done to the organisers on taking feedback last year and on being able to use aspects of that process to promote this years event. The other thing that caught our eye, not surprisingly, was the awards trophies. Following on from the 2008 trophy featuring a 'flame' award (similar jade glass flame awards available to buy here), the 2009 awards comprised a geometric 'peak' design flat glass award (similar flat glass peak awards available to buy online here). Crystal and flat glass awards offer a clean, contemporary and not overly ostentatious awards trophy for a variety of events and are perfect for awards in a modern sector such as the Internet industry. The categories and winners in the 2009 UK Internet Industry Awards were:

  • Best Consumer Fixed Broadband: O2
  • Best Business Fixed Broadband: Claranet
  • Best Consumer Mobile Broadband: Vodafone
  • Best Business Mobile Broadband: Freedom4Limited
  • Best Consumer Customer Service: O2
  • Best Business Customer Service: UK Fast
  • Best Dial-Up: Exa Networks
  • Best Shared Hosting: Namesco
  • Best Dedicated Hosting:
  • Best Internet Telephony: AQL
  • Best Streaming: Astream
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Award:
  • Internet Hero: Featured Artists Coalition
  • Internet Villain: Stephen Conroy and the Australian Government