Notes to editors

About Laureus
Laureus is a global organisation that celebrates sporting excellence and uses the power of sport to transform the lives of children and young people. 
 
The first Patron of Laureus was Nelson Mandela.  At the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, he said:
 
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand.  Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.  It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers.”
 
From that day, President Mandela’s powerful vision has become the philosophy of Laureus and the driving force behind its work.
Laureus was established in 2000 by Founding Partners, Richemont and Daimler, who continue to support all aspects of Laureus through their brands Mercedes-Benz and IWC Schaffhausen. They were joined as Global Partners in 2018 by MUFG, formerly known as Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi. 
 
Laureus Sport for Good
Laureus Sport for Good was inspired by the words of its Founding Patron, Nelson Mandela, who said at the first ever Laureus Awards in 2000, “Sport has the power to change the world.” 
Laureus Sport for Good uses sport to reduce the impact of violence, conflict and discrimination, to enhance social and emotional development, to inspire healthy behaviour change and to increase educational achievements and employability skills. 
In 2018, nearly 300,000 young people from all over the world directly benefited from more than 180 Laureus Sport for Good supported programmes, run by grassroots organisations which are deeply embedded in their local communities and understand how to use sport to overcome the hurdles faced by local kids.  We support these organisations with funding and knowledge-sharing, and all the work we support is measured against charitable standards set out by the United Nations, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
 
  • Health: enhancing mental wellbeing and encouraging healthy behaviour change
  • Education: increased access to and completion of education
  • Women and Girls: promoting equality, empowerment and safety
  • Employability: developing skills and creating pathways to employment
  • Inclusive Society: creating communities embracing ethnic, cultural and physical differences
  • Peaceful Society: resolving conflict and promoting community peace-building

 
A global leader in the sport for development sector, Laureus Sport for Good carries the endorsement and support of the Laureus World Sports Academy and Ambassadors, all role models and icons of sport, who volunteer their time to this important cause.

Laureus World Sports Awards
The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier global sporting awards. First held in 2000, the annual event honours the greatest and most inspirational sporting triumphs of the year and showcases the work of Laureus Sport for Good.
 

Shortlists for six categories (Sportswoman, Sportsman, Team, Breakthrough, Comeback and Action) are created by votes from more than 1,000 sports media from over 70 countries. The shortlist for the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability is provided by the International Paralympic Committee.
The Laureus World Sports Academy (a unique group of sporting legends) votes for the winners in each shortlisted category and The Academy also has the ability to grant discretionary awards, such as the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award. 

A global public vote determines the winner of the Laureus Sporting Moment of the Year award, which honours one inspiring story that encapsulates the power of sport inspire and bring people together.  

Broadcast around the world, the Awards Ceremony also provides a global platform for supporting Laureus Sport for Good, by showcasing the incredible work done to transform young lives around the world. Each year, one programme is recognised for its outstanding work, through the Laureus Sport for Good Award. 

The 2020 Laureus World Sports Awards will be a major celebration in our 20th Anniversary year. As well as honouring the sporting triumphs of 2019, our 20th Anniversary Awards will showcase how we have used the inspirational power of sport as a force for good since our founding in 2000.
Laureus World Sports Academy & Ambassadors
The Laureus World Sports Academy is a unique group of sporting legends, each of whom reached the very highest level of achievement and collectively created many of sports most iconic moments. 

Each year, under the chairmanship of former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick, the Academy members come together to perform the vital role of voting for the winners of the Laureus Awards, and this endorsement from an iconic group of sporting legends helps to make the Awards the most prestigious in global sport.

 

Academy members all share a belief in the power of sport to transform the lives of young people around the world, volunteering their time to support the work of Laureus Sport for Good. Throughout the year, many Academy members visit Sport for Good programmes, helping to engage and inspire the young people taking part. 
 

Laureus is also privileged to be supported by the Laureus Ambassadors, a group of over 200 current or recently retired sporting men and women who have achieved sporting greatness or made significant contributions to the sporting community. Ambassadors support the work of the Academy and of our Foundations around the world by giving their time to support programmes on the ground. 
 

Click here for a full list of Laureus Academy Members.
 
Click here for a full list of Laureus Ambassadors.

Partners

Laureus is supported by three Global Partners:
 
Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz is the inventor of the automobile – and has been passionately shaping the mobility of tomorrow since 1886.  The Mercedes-Benz brand has always stood for modern luxury and enjoys an outstanding reputation for quality, safety, comfort and design. As a large, international company, Mercedes-Benz also serves as a beacon of corporate social responsibility. For the brand with the distinctive three-pronged star, sport has the power and potential to improve the lives of socially disadvantaged young people around the world. Sport mobilizes masses and is able to compensate for differences in religion, skin color, gender and origin. That’s why Daimler co-founded “Laureus Sport for Good” in 2000, which has since become the brand’s most important social initiative worldwide.
 

IWC Schaffhausen
With a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world’s leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces of haute horlogerie at their finest, combining supreme precision with exclusive design. As an ecologically and socially responsible company, IWC is committed to sustainable production, supports institutions around the globe in their work with children and young people and maintains partnerships with organisations dedicated to climate and environmental protection.
 

MUFG
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) is one of the world’s leading financial groups. Headquartered in Tokyo and with approximately 350 years of history, MUFG is a global network with over 2,000 offices in more than 50 countries. The Group has over 150,000 employees and about 300 entities, offering services including commercial banking, trust banking, securities, credit cards, consumer finance, asset management, and leasing. The Group’s operating companies include Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (Japan’s leading trust bank), and MUFG Securities Holdings Co., Ltd., one of Japan’s largest securities firms. Through close partnerships among our operating companies, the Group aims to “be the world’s most trusted financial group”, flexibly responding to all of the financial needs of our customers, serving society, and fostering shared and sustainable growth for a better world. MUFG’s shares trade on the Tokyo, Nagoya, and New York stock exchanges. On April 1, 2018 the commercial bank name changed from “Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ” to simply “MUFG Bank.” The ticker also changed to “MUFG” on the New York Stock Exchange on the same day.
For more information, visit www.mufg.jp/english.