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Manchester Named World’s Best City for Sport

Manchester has been crowned the best ‘Sports City’ in the world for its successful hosting of six international sports events this year – four of which were supported by UK Sport’s World Class Events Programme (WCEP).

The SportBusiness Sports City ‘Gold’ Award was presented to Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure at Manchester City Council, at the SportBusiness Sports Event Management Awards 2008 on 12 November.

A panel of industry experts including representatives from FIFA, the International Olympic Committee, the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club and the International Cricket Council selected Manchester the winner ahead of other leading world sport destinations including Melbourne which was awarded silver, and Berlin which received bronze. New York, Moscow and Doha were also shortlisted.

Simon Morton, Senior Events Consultant at UK Sport, said: “The recognition for Manchester is well deserved at the end of what has been a fantastic year of sports events in the city. Through our National Lottery funded World Class Events Programme we have invested over £2 million throughout the course of the year in hosting world class sporting events in Manchester and the SportBusiness Awards demonstrate how the city continues to deliver to the highest standards.”

As well as being named best Sports City, the ground breaking 9th FINA World Swimming Championships 2008 (25m) in Manchester also earned Gold for its organisers, World Swimming Championships 2008 Ltd, for best ‘Event Look’.

The championships, supported by UK Sport’s WCEP largest award of 2008 with an investment of up to £950,000, saw 18 world records broken in five days of competition in the fastest and most successful event of its kind, all held in spectacular pools specially constructed in the Manchester Evening News Arena.

Throughout the year, Manchester World Sport 08 (MWS08) has hosted the UCI Track Cycling World Championships, the 9th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), the Hi-Tec World Squash Championships, the Paralympic World Cup, the BUPA Great Manchester Run and the UEFA Cup Final.

The MWS08 marketing campaign won silver behind the Indian Premier League (IMG-DLF Indian Premier League 2008) and ahead of the Network BBDO ICC World Twenty20 South Africa 2007.

One of the key campaign objectives for MWS08, which was coordinated by Manchester City Council in partnership with Marketing Manchester, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), UK Sport and M.E.N. Media, was to raise Manchester’s position in the global hierarchy of ‘top world cities’ and the campaign has clearly gone some way to achieving that now that the city is recognised internationally for being the world’s best ‘Sports City’ 2008.

(Manchester was the host of the 2008 1st BTCB British Open which formed part of City’s Major Events Strategy)