The international language of new digital media will be used extensively to promote the sixth edition of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award (MBR) which was launched at the Intercontinental Dubai Festival City Hotel on Monday.
The Award was officially launched by Dr. Ahmed Al Sharif, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council in the presence of Dr. Khalifa Al Shaali, Member of the Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Technical Committee of the award; Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Director of the Award and Ahmed Al Hammadi, Member of the Marketing and Communications Committee.
"We’ve had a tremendous response to this initiative in the past five years and we are confident of further establishing this Award as one of the foremost on the international and regional stages,” Dr. Ahmed Al Sharif said in his opening remarks.
“We owe a lot of gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Chairman of Dubai Sports Council and the patron of this award along with His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the President of the UAE National Olympic Committee and Chairman of the award for backing us all the way,” he said.
“In a short span of just five years, the sporting communities in the UAE, the Arab world and the international fraternity have all given this award such a huge backing. We are encouraged by this tremendous support and we will do anything to ensure this Award is one of the most sought-after prizes in sporting excellence,” he added.
"Our strategy is to promote the Award and even Dubai Sport Council has good relationship with social media. We are going to invest more (in it) because this is now the international language," said Dr Al Sharif speaking to Emirates 24|7.
"Most of the international sporting organisations and even non-sporting organisations are investing in social media. That's our strategy and we hope to succeed in this," he added.
“In the past five years we have had as many as 96 winners from across the globe and I am confident we will be able to bring forth a few more champions this year as well,” said Al Hammadi.
“We are always on the lookout to see how best we can promote this Award globally as it bears the name of our leader Sheikh Mohammed. We encourage everyone to be part of this award,” he added.
"This year we are going to focus more into digital marketing. It doesn't we will ignore the other traditional marketing strategy. We are going to use all the platforms in order to promote the event itself. We are going to use social media, outdoors, print... all the tools in order to promote the Award," said Al Hammadi, who is also Chief Executive (Print) at DMI (Dubai Media Incorporated).
"We are going to focus more on digital media because the reach will be much bigger. We want to encourage all our strategic media partners to support us in this. The event itself will be unique," he told Emirates 24|7.
Named after His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the profile of the award has grown since the first edition in 2009.
The acceptance of nominations will commence from April 1 and go on till August 31, after which the jury members will meet between September and October to study and debate the nominations. The winners in various categories will be announced in the third week of November and the presentation of the awards will be done on January 14, 2015.
Regulations, laws and nomination forms can be accessed on the website: www.mbrawards.ae.
The vision of the award is to make the UAE a global hub for sport creativity, leadership and excellence. The first year witnessed 116 nominations and this figure had risen by 75 per cent to 203 nominations in 2013.
The annual Award is held in three separate categories: UAE, Arab and international, that carries the top prize of $250,000.
From 16 Arab countries participating in the inaugural year, the award has managed to reach 19 Arab nations so far.
The international response too has been great with 99 NOCs (National Olympic Committees) – accounting to 49 per cent of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) family – participating when the award was thrown open for international nomnations in 2012.
“Our target is to reach cent per cent of the Olympic family. Dubai and the UAE are known entities when it comes to sport and this award has further consolidated our position as being among the best,” noted Dr.Al Shaali.
The 2012 London Olympic Games, Tunisian swimmer Osama Mellouli and Algerian middle distance runner Tawfiq Makloufi are among the past winners of this prestigious award.