Levergy, the Sport and Entertainment arm of M&C Saatchi, was the big winner when the 2019 Hollard Sport Industry Awards event was held at The Deck @ Wanderers in Johannesburg on 22 November.

Levergy took home four awards, including the much-coveted ‘Agency of the Year’ – a category sponsored by Gallo Images.

It was also successful in the AB InBev ‘Activation of the Year’ category for its work on “Nedbank Cup #Teamup4kzn” – an initiative that drove awareness and raised funds for relief efforts and clean-up operations after the flooding that hit KwaZulu-Natal; the ‘Best Use of PR’ award (sponsored by Belgotex) for the same campaign; and the ‘Digital Platform of the Year’ award (sponsored by Hollywoodbets) for its SuperSport TV Twitter work.

‘Campaign of the Year’, sponsored by Nielsen Sports, was won by Openfield for its work on the Vodacom Super Rugby campaign, whilst Openfield was also successful in the ‘Best Sponsorship of an Event or Competition’ category (sponsored by WorldWide Sports), also for Vodacom Super Rugby.

Last year’s ‘Agency of the Year’, T&W, was the winner in the Fujifilm ‘Best Audio-Visual Content’ category for its Orlando Pirates 80 Legends campaign.

‘Best Sponsorship of a Team or Individual’, sponsored by Golf Guys, went to creative sports marketing agency Retroactive for its work for client Biogen and James ‘Hobbo’ Hobson, which documented the journey of a regular South African guy who went from being unfit and weighing 130kgs to completing the Ironman 70.3 in Durban in June. Unsurprisingly, Retroactive, which was formed in October 2018 by Bryan Habana, Mike Sharman, Ben Karpinski and Shaka Sisulu, also won ‘Young Agency of the Year’, sponsored by Modern Athlete.

Other awards on the night included:

‘Hollard Brand of the Year’ – DHL

‘Best Live Experience’ – M-Sports Marketing Communications (Carling Black Label Cup Match Day 2019) – sponsored by Deloitte

‘Best New Sponsorship’ – Playmakers (Powerade Fit Night Out) – sponsored by NB Sport Development

‘Development Programme of the Year’ – Peschl Sports and Spotlight Public Relations (Go! Durban Cycle Academy) – sponsored by the Thebe Foundation

‘Best Participation Event of the Year’ – Stillwater Sports (FNB Run Your City Series) – sponsored by Thirsti

Additional highlights on the night included the awarding of the ‘Leadership in Sport Business’, ‘Sport Lifetime Achievement’, ‘Sport Industry Personality of the Year’, and ‘Sport Lifetime Community’ awards.

The ‘Leadership in Sport Business’ award, sponsored by Engen, went to former Springbok captain Francois Pienaar, who in 2003 founded the Make a Difference (MAD) Leadership Scholarship Programme, to produce the country’s next generation of young leaders.

The ‘Sport Lifetime Achievement’ award went to Sue Destombes, who has been the Secretary-General at COSAFA (the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations) for the past five years. She has a career spanning more than 40 years, primarily in marketing and event management in the football industry and was hand-picked by FIFA to act as a mentor in their Female Leadership Development Programme.

‘Sport Industry Personality of the Year’ went to Springbok PR Manager Annelee Murray, who has been involved with the Boks for nearly 20 years and is often referred to as the hardest-working Springbok.

The ‘Sport Lifetime Community Award’, sponsored by Tshikululu Social Investments, was awarded to former Springbok captain and manager Morne du Plessis. Du Plessis is the owner and director of Sports Plan. Among its achievements is the establishment and management of the Sports Science Institute of South Africa in Cape Town. Du Plessis was elected a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy and appointed chairman of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which has raised millions of rands for disadvantaged communities around the world.