The Sports Podcast Awards will be an annual celebration that honours the work of the best that the global sports audio community has to offer.
These awards have been created by the newly launched Sports Podcast Group which has been set up to unite the sports podcast community globally, from elite podcasters to grass roots and anything in between.
Taking place in February 2022, the awards are for everyone that has a sports podcast, no matter how big or small. Their unique judging format will make it a democratic process, giving podcasters the power to choose who they think is the best in the game.
The Sports Podcast Awards is part of Benchmark, the company behind the Sport Industry Awards, now in its 20th year and the world’s largest commercial sports awards. Also playing its part is the Beyond Sport Awards, the global organization recognising sport’s role in social impact, which is supported by the NFL, NBA, MLB, WNBA, MLS, UNICEF and the IOC.
The group is looking to innovate on the awards process – with audio-only award-entries, judges being hundreds of podcasters and listeners around the world and applying gamification to the judging.
There are a number of big names in the sports industry on the advisory board including Global Sports Partnerships Director of Facebook, Peter Hutton, UK sports broadcaster Gabby Logan, and former CEO of Sky Sports Barney Francis.
The Sports Podcast Group is led by former Spotify exec Dylan Pugh. In his role as Managing Director, Dylan brings a vast amount of experience in the sports podcasting world and is excited to watch this new initiative grow.
Speaking on the launch of the awards, Dylan said: “Our ambition is to create a community of sports podcasters around the world, with the core mission of boosting discoverability for both creators & listeners.
“We want podcasters of all shapes and sizes to engage – through entering awards or becoming judges – and the more they engage, the more visibility it will bring to their own podcast. We’re also excited to be working with our partners to bring unique offers and benefits to any podcasters that join our community, watch this space!”
Speaking on his role as an advisory board member, Peter Hutton, Director, Global Sports Partnerships at Facebook said: “As an avid listener of many sports podcasts, I’m delighted to be involved with The Sports Podcast Awards on its quest to unite the podcast community whilst celebrating the work of the best in the business.
“As we are in the midst of an excellent summer of sport, the launch of an independent body like this one is vitally important to ensure that the category continues to grow, but also to shine a spotlight on future stars as they rise through the podcasting ranks.”
Nick Keller, Founder of Benchmark said: “We’re very passionate about the audio space and we know how much sports audio content means to fans, so we’re excited to use our legacy in sports awards programmes to create something fresh and exciting, and to reward those who work tirelessly to create excellent content week after week.
“We are very much looking forward to cultivating a community, to celebrate the best and to help bring the industry together.”
Entries are open now for podcasters across the globe. There are 27 different categories to enter covering a range of different sports and sub-genres, and the format will present a level playing field, seeing the leading podcast networks in the world go up against the bedroom content creator, with both having an equal chance of winning.
Short-listed award entries will be made public on podcast platforms and streaming services and winners will be announced via a live-streamed virtual awards event in February 2022.
You can find out more about how to enter at The Sports Podcast Awards website.