Luis Garcia, a Champions League winner with Liverpool and an official ambassador for the Anfield based club, has been confirmed as one of the hosts for this year’s SBC Awards.
Held on Tuesday 5 December at The Artillery Garden in central London, Garcia will be fronting the end of year industry celebration that has been expanded to recognise excellence across all areas of sports betting in 2017, with 28 prizes split into 11 Operator/Affiliate awards and 17 Supplier awards.
In this country, he is most famous for scoring five times in Liverpool’s Champions League winning campaign under Rafael Benitez in 2004/05, which included the infamous ‘ghost goal’ in the semi-final second leg against Chelsea.
Joining Garcia, who also serves as an ambassador for UEFA and FC Barcelona, will be Matt Lorenzo, a TV presenter that has worked for Sky, BBC, ITV, Channel Four and GMTV.
Continuing with the Champions League connection, Lorenzo played a key role in launching ITV’s coverage of the tournament in 1993, while he also became the youngest ever anchor of a networked World Cup in 1994.
Garcia said: “It is a pleasure to be associated with the SBC Awards, which recognises the highest performing companies across the sports betting sector. As a footballer, my objective was always to compete for the biggest prizes, so I’m looking forward to co-hosting an event which translates this desire for success into the world of business.”
Lorenzo added: “Having been involved in the launch of ITV’s Champions League coverage in the early 90’s, it will be an honour for me to co-host an event alongside a subsequent winner of the competition. I’m looking forward to playing a part in the SBC Awards, a Christmas themed end of year celebration for the sports betting industry.”
Now that the nomination deadline has passed, SBC Events will later be announcing shortlists for each of the 28 categories. The Operator/Affiliate Awards will be put to a vote by anyone that attended this year’s Betting on Football and Betting on Sports conferences, while nominees for the Supplier Awards will be assessed by a hand-picked panel of experts.
Meanwhile, in addition to announcing the 28 award winners, Garcia and Lorenzo will also be recognising those who have made a lasting contribution to the industry. Three new members will be inducted into the SBC Sports Betting Hall of Fame to join Sportradar’s Carsten Koerl, FSB Technology’s Mark Blandford and Howard Chisholm, the long-term Managing Director at Chisholm Bookmakers.
SBC Managing Director Andrew McCarron commented: “We are delighted to have signed up Luis Garcia and Matt Lorenzo, two leading names from the world of sport, to host the fourth edition of the SBC Awards.”