The BiG Foundation Sports Dinner, the only sports dinner in the Betting and Gambling industry, raised over £12,000 alone from the raffle and auction alone in its inaugural year. There were just under 250 attendees in attendance at the event.
Richard Hogg, Director of BiG, said: “The responses both during and post event have been amazing. Those in attendance commented that they simply loved every minute of the evening. It was always my intention to create an event, which was different to anything else in order to really drive the fund raising. The fact that the existing sponsors are already wanting to discuss the future, the numerous offers of help to run more events, and the enquires from potential new sponsors, has clearly shown the demand for this project.”
£2,000 was pledged by some gaming executives to join John Barnes on stage while he performed his legendary World Cup Rap.
Rugby star Austin Healey hosted the event that aims to improve and enhance the quality of life of injured, sick, or terminally ill individuals globally, with a focus on the healing power of sport.
The Dorchester Hotel, Mayfair provided the perfect location for the evening’s festivities, which was attended by high-profile guests including ex-footballer Barnes, high jumper Dalton Grant, and Italian football legend Marco Tardelli. Rugby stars such as former player, Rory Jenkins, and current Wasps players, Andrea Masi and Carlo Festuccia as well as half of the Esher RFC first team added to the glamour. A number of former Hong Kong Rugby players turned up to add to the nostalgia as well as Angus “Statto” Loughran.
Those in attendance were treated to a champagne reception on arrival, a three course dinner and celebrity interviews over the course of the night.
Other activities included the Microgaming, Avalon II Sword in the Stone competition and an auction for a wide range of luxury sporting gifts and memorabilia chaired by Fabian Hines.
Alongside sports stars were key players in the Betting and interactive Gaming Industry, high net worth individuals, leading business decision makers, city and commercial corporate guests.
There were two key industry awards, including; BetConstruct sponsored “The Best Sports Betting Campaign” and; “The Best Use of a Sporting Star in a Betting Campaign”. These went to Unibet and Sportbet.com.au (Paddy Power) respectively.
The charities involved on the night were Restart Rugby, Meningitis Now, The Lord’s Taverners, The Injured Jockeys Fund, and the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK.