Friday, December 31, 2004

Britain Announces New Year Honours Awards

So, Britain's Queen has announced the annual New Year's Honours List, recognising the "exceptional achievement or service" of British subjects and a select number of foreign nationals. As usual, the List has been received with criticism that it is either too elitist or too populist, too many sportspeople and entertainers or too many civil servants. Without entering these debates, we'd just like to explain a little about the British honours system and how it operates - after all, love it or loathe it, a title from The Queen still carries a huge amount of prestige and that is a sign of a successful awards system. Britain's national honours are recognised worldwide, are respected (mostly) by the country's people, and that motivate and inspire people. For that, Britain's honours system ... we salute you!

Recipients of British honours are selected by The Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister. Recommendations are made to the Prime Minister's office by government ministers, by representatives of organisations, or directly by ordinary members of the British public. The criteria is that the honours are awarded on merit, for exceptional achievement or service. For non-British nationals, recommendations for honorary awards are made by the Foreign Secretary. The range of honours is as follows:

  • Life Peers - A life peer becomes a baron and is entitled to sit in the House of Lords. These are the only form of peerages regularly created by the Sovereign and they are held only for the lifetime of the peer (they are not hereditary).

  • Knights Bachelor - A knighthood is conferred using the medieval ceremony of the touch of a sword by the Sovereign. Male recipients are referred to as 'Sir' and their wives 'Lady', while female recipients of the honour are referred to as 'Dame' although they do not receive the accolade.

  • The Order of the Bath - This order of Chivalry is awarded for service of the highest calibre and is divided into civil and military honours. There are three ranks: Knight Grand Cross (GCB), Knight Commander (KCB) and Companion (CB).

  • Order of St Michael and St George - This honour is awarded to British subjects who have rendered extraordinary and important services overseas (or within the British Commonwealth). The ranks within this order are: Knight or Dame Grand Cross (GCMG), Knight or Dame Commander (KCMG or DCMG) and Companion (CMG).

  • Order of the Companions Honour - An award given for service of conspicuous national importance. This honour is limited to 65 people a year, who are then entitled to wear the initials CH after their name.

  • Orders of the British Empire - The honour of the OBE is awarded mainly to civilians and service personnel for public service or other distinctions. It has a military and civilian division, and the ranks in the order are: Knight or Dame Grand Cross (GBE), Knight or Dame Commander (KBE or DBE), Commander (CBE), Officer (OBE) and Member (MBE).

  • Royal Victorian Order - An honour bestowed by The Sovereign in recognition of services to the Royal Family. The ranks of this order are: Knight or Dame Grand Cross (GCVO), Knight or Dame Commander (KCVO or DCVO), Commander (CVO), Lieutenant (LVO) and Member (MVO).

  • Royal Victorian Medal - This honour is associated with the Royal Victorian Order and the recipient receives a circular medal attached to the ribbon of the Order. There are three grades - gold, siler and bronze - and the same person may hold more than one grade.

  • Royal Red Cross - An honour for people in the Nursing Services, this award has two ranks: First Class (recipients are designated "Members", or RRC) and Second Class ("Associates", or ARRC).

  • Queen's Police Medal - Awarded for distinguished service to the police force.

  • Queen's Fire Service Medal - Awarded to firemen who have displayed conspicuous devotion to duty.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Sponsoring British Comedy Awards is no laughing matter

So the British Comedy Awards were broadcast last night, and for the third year running the event - including the television coverage - was sponsored by UK communications company One.Tel. During those three years One.Tel claims to have doubled its brand awareness. Mike Holliday-Williams, marketing director for One.Tel, claims that: "The British Comedy Awards are an excellent fit for our brand and present a great opportunity to convey some of our key values to our audience." And according to Sue Wills, head of sponsorship and brand development at Unique Communications Group (which produced the 2004 Awards event through Michael Hurll Television): "It is testament to the drive of One.Tel and the continuing success of the British Comedy Awards that this has become a well known comedy double act of its own."

So it seems that everyone is smiling. But it could have been oh so different. The British Comedy Awards have a history of controversy, including a decidedly non-family audience joke from camp comedian Julian Cleary which saw him exiled from the airwaves for a considerable time. At other Awards events the now disgraced presenter Michael Barrymore caused havoc by ripping out the host's in-podium autocue, while legendary comedian Spike Milligan reacted to a royal tribute from Prince Charles by calling him "a grovelling little bastard". So it was a brave move by One.Tel to announce its first sponsorship deal with the British Comedy Awards in 2002, and for that ... we salute you!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

World Soccer Body Celebrates Centenary in Style

FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, celebrated its centenary in style last night with a glitzy, star-studded World Player Gala at the Zurich Opera House. While the headlines today are dominated by the award of FIFA World Player of the Year to the Brazilian player Ronaldinho, in fact the occasion included several noteworthy awards. FIFA's 'Football for Peace' initiative received a publicity boost with the award of two honours to the participants in the Brazil versus Haiti game. This match was played on August 18th in Port au Prince. In recognition of the social benefits that the event brought to the the troubled Caribbean island, Brazil and Haiti were award both the FIFA Fair Play Award and the FIFA Presidential Award.

Also announced at the Gala was the FIFA Interactive World Player Award 2004 which went to the winner of a four month worldwide gaming contest.

The highlight of the event was the announcements of the FIFA Women's World Player 2004, which went to German striker Birgit Prinz, and the FIFA World Player 2004 winner Ronaldinho. His award was decided by a poll of 157 international soccer coaches and, for the first time, 145 national team captains. This combination of an award bestowed by the industry's world governing body, and voted on by its leading practitioners, makes the FIFA World Player Award the most coveted personal award in soccer. For maintaining such a high profile, and highly respected industry award ... FIFA, we salute you!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Golden Globes Set Shining Example

So the nominations for the 2005 Golden Globe Awards were announced last week. Yep, I know what you're thinking ... but we don't claim to be a 'news' site. If you want the latest news on these Awards, please visit the Official Website of the HFPA & the Golden Globe Awards. Failing that, there are numerous entertainment and film industry sites such as Hollywood.com, Dark Horizons and the IMDb.

No, what actually interests us more here at WinnersPodium.com is how such a high profile, prestige industry award such as the Golden Globes can co-exist in such apparent harmony with that industry's other high profile, prestige awards. In particular, it is interesting how the Golden Globe Awards, while hugely respected in their own right, are also seen as an indicator of the likely contenders and support for the Oscars. They are seen as a precursor to the Oscars and not as a competing award. One of the reasons for this may lie in the history of the Golden Globe Awards. Right from the very beginning the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organisers of the Awards, decided to schedule them for January so as not to clash with the Academy Awards. Whether from deference to their hosts, or to the prestige that the Oscars carried even at that time, those foreign journalists demonstrated their respect for the existing awards and organisers and they have been rewarded with what has become probably the second most prestigious movie (and now TV) awards in the US. There is a real lesson there for organisers and sponsors of awards in other industries - it is possible for two or more high profile awards to co-exist in a mutually beneficial relationship within the same sector or industry. So, for that foresight when originating the Golden Globe Awards, to the good folk of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association ... we salute you!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

European Footballer of the Year Award

A Ukrainian footballer, playing in Italy, has been awarded the European Footballer of the Year honour from a French magazine. The prestigious award, the 'Ballon d'Or' (Golden Football), was given to Andriy Shevchenko of AC Milan.

Andriy Chevchenko receives the Ballon d'OrThe award was established in 1956 by the French soccer magazine France Football and has come to establish itself as the premier European Footballer of the Year award. Winners are chosen by a vote of European soccer journalists, one from each of the member nations of UEFA, the ruling body for football in Europe. Each journalist nominates five players, in order of preference, with five points going to their first-placed choice and so on down to one point for their fifth-placed choice. For a national magazine to establish its award as the default European Player of the Year honour ... France Football we salute you!

Wayne Rooney Receives Golden Boy AwardMeanwhile in a junior version of the France Football award, the Italian newspaper Tuttosport offers a 'Golden Boy' award for the best young footballer in Europe. Taking its lead from the France Football award, the Tuttosport award is also selected via a poll of journalists. The winner for 2004 was English 'wonder boy' Wayne Rooney.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Gordon's Takes Minimalist Stance for Turner Prize

The winner of this year's Turner Prize, the UK art scene's premier awards event, was announced last night. New sponsors of the Turner Prize, Gordon's Gin, must have been relieved that the announcement was not accompanied by the sort of controversy and media outrage that has characterised recent Turner Prize celebrations. Winner Jeremy Diller was both the bookies favourite and, by all accounts, a popular choice with the three other finalists.

Gordon's Gin, which is part of the Diageo group, took over as main sponsors of the event in May 2004 when they announced a £1m deal to back the event for three years. The move was a brave one for the brand - it was the first major non-media consumer brand to link its name with the event for 15 years - as it sought to link Gordon's reputation as a refined British spirit with the craftsmanship and skill needed to create a work of art. In a move that may have helped ease the disappointment of the three 'losing' finalists, Gordon's doubled the prize money for the event from £20,000 to £40,000. The winner now receives £25,000 and the runners-up £5,000 each.

As part of their publicity for this year's event, Gordon's Gin is offering 'Tate City Break' holidays to users of their Web site (in exchange for some personal data). However, that aside, it seems as though the brand is adopting a minimalist stance regarding its sponsorship of the event. They devoted a single page on their Web site to the Prize, comprising a sum total of three paragraphs. And for a brand that is trying to underline its reputation for refinement and craftsmanship by associating with contemporary art, it would have been nice if they had employed a copywriter to craft the text. A single lame joke about Gordon's being 200 years old is simply not worthy of the quality and skill associated with the Prize.

So, for making the brave move to associate its traditional brand with the controvery-ridden art prize, we would love to salute Gordon's Gin. But for failing to fizz in its communications surrounding the event, we're suspending judgement.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Venerable trophy reigns in Spain

One of world sport's most venerable trophies, the Davis Cup, was returned to one of its more recent homes at the weekend. Spain's victory over the USA in the finals of this prestigious team tennis competition in Seville means that the Davis Cup will reside in Spain for the second time in four years. Spain won the competition for the first time in 2000.

The Davis Cup is one of the most famous trophies in world sport. It was commissioned by the legendary tennis patron Dwight Davis and was designed by an Englishman named Rowland Rhodes in New England, USA, in 1900. Nancy Kriplen, biographer of Dwight Davis, describes Rhodes' design in her book "Dwight Davis: The Man and the Cup": "Instead of a smooth rim, the top edge would be gently scalloped by a dramatic Georgian border of clusters of primroses and acanthus leaves, that traditional bit of shrubbery favoured by English silver designers. The primrose motif would be repeated around the bottom third of the bowl, this time combined with tiny buds and tendrils, all descending into a seafoam effect around the foot."

The finished trophy cup stood 13 inches (33cm) high and 18 inches (46cm) across at the top. Just over a century later, in 2002, the trophy gained a magnificent new plinth which added 16 additional plaques and castings and raised the height of the trophy and three-tier plinth to 43 inches (110cm).

Principle sponsor for the current Davis Cup is BNP Paribas, with a supporting list of partners that includes Adecco, Hugo Boss, Wilson, Kia Motors, COLT Telecom, Fossil, Getronics and NH Hoteles. Usually on SuccessRewarded we like to honour the sponsors and organisers of events, tournaments and awards. In this case, however, it is the founder and visionary of the Davis Cup, Dwight Davis, that still deserves the credit. So, for founding a tennis competition that is now one of the world's oldest and most prestigious sporting events, Dwight Davis ... we salute you!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

BRIT Awards Crank Up Publicity Lead-In

The British Phonographic Industry, organisers of the UK music industry BRIT Awards, have cranked up the publicity ahead of their landmark 25th annual event in February 2005. They have linked up with BBC Radio 2 to launch a campaign to find the public's favourite British song released during the past 25 years.

BRITs 25 - the Best Song Award will be broadcast on Radio 2 for two hours on Monday 3rd January, when listeners will be invited to vote for their favourite single from a list of 25. The list has been compiled by a panel of industry experts and media bods, and the top five winning songs from the radio broadcast will be presented at the BRIT Awards Nomination Launch at London's Park Lane Hotel a week later. Talk about cranking up the publicity! That's two hours of national radio airtime, then a pre-awards 'Nomination Launch Party' before the main event on February 9th 2005. Well done chaps. Ten weeks ahead of the actual event, to the organisers of the BRITS 25 with MasterCard, ... we salute you!

Chris Evans will present BRITS 25 with MasterCard in February 2005