Former Valencia, Lazio, Barcelona and Middlesbrough star Gaizka Mendieta and leading news and sports broadcaster Kirsty Gallacher will host the ninth edition of the SBC Awards 2022 ceremony.
This year the celebration of the best of the best in the industry will form part of the global betting and iGaming show, SBC Summit Barcelona, and take place on 22 September at the majestic Palau National.
The winners in the operator, affiliate, supplier, and payment provider categories will be revealed in a grand ceremony in front of 1000 industry professionals from all corners of the world. The shortlists for the 45 categories have already been announced and can be accessed on the event’s website.
From his first trophy in the 1999 Copa del Rey Final over Atlético Madrid to being voted the best midfielder in the world not once but twice in back-to-back seasons, Gaizka Mendieta is the perfect celebrity host to add a little stardust to the lavish ceremony.
Mendieta started his career in Castellón but quickly moved to neighbouring Valencia, making his club debut in 1993 against Cádiz. Mendieta took Valencia all the way to the finals of the UEFA Champions League in 2000 and 2001, only narrowly losing out on the Old Big Ears in the second finale after a penalty shootout against FC Bayern Munich.
Lazio was the next club to sign Mendieta when he wanted a change back in 2001, paying 47 million pounds to get him, an amount that made him the most expensive Spanish footballer in the world and the sixth most expensive player of all time.
The following season saw his return to La Liga with Barcelona. A year later, the footballer managed to fulfil his dream of playing in the Premier League by securing a move to Middlesbrough. During Mendieta’s time at Middlesbrough, the team picked up their first major trophy after their win over Bolton Wanderers in the Carling Cup final at the Millennium Stadium in 2004. The football star also took Middlesbrough to their first UEFA Cup final in 2006, where the team faced Sevilla in a battle for the prestigious title.
Mendieta retired in 2007 after playing for sixteen years, having earned a reputation as a very versatile player, a penalty king, and one of the best midfielders in the world.
Mendieta commented on his role at the SBC Awards 2022: “I am excited to co-host the ceremony with Kirsty Gallacher. I can imagine the hard work that goes behind every such recognition, which makes this event a great reminder that hard work leads to success. I look forward to delivering the great news to the winners and celebrating the best in the betting and gaming industry.”
Gallacher is a familiar face to SBC Awards attendees as the broadcaster returns to host the ceremony for the fifth time. She is a television personality most well-known to UK sports fans as a presenter on Sky Sports News. Kirsty has covered sporting events such as The ‘Ryder Cup’ and ‘The Masters’ and has interviewed several sports stars, including Anthony Joshua, Jordan Spieth and David Beckham. The presenter is also famous for her work at Great British Breakfast on GB News, Soccer AM, Soccer Extra, 90 Minutes, Ant & Dec’ Saturday Night Takeaway and Gladiators.
Gallacher commented on her return as a host: “This is not my first time presenting the SBC Awards, but each time is equally exciting! The energy of the people here is inspiring, and I find the entire positive vibe of the ceremony satisfying and fulfilling. Winning feels great, and we need to learn to appreciate the winners and applaud them for all their efforts.”
Rasmus Sojmark, Founder and CEO of SBC, said: “The SBC Awards are now an integral part of our events and a prestigious recognition of excellence in the sports betting and gaming industry. We have more and more companies applying every year, which allows the judging panel to choose the best of the best. Having a legend like Gaizka Mendieta co-hosting the ceremony will help make this night unforgettable. Mendieta will have the full support of Kirsty Gallacher, who has been excellent in presenting the awards for a few consecutive years.”
This year, the SBC Awards move from their usual location at Evolution London to the Palau National in Barcelona — an iconic building on the hill of Montjuïc and the current home of the National Art Museum of Catalonia.
In addition to the entertainment, all attendees will enjoy a champagne and cocktail reception, a three-course dinner and unlimited complimentary beer, wine and spirits. Tickets for the awards are now on sale. Businesses booking VIP tables will also benefit from company branding, five extra bottles of champagne and a dedicated table waiter. Email [email protected] to book individual tickets or tables for the SBC Awards 2022 ceremony.