Karen Earl crowned Sunday Times Sports Businesswoman of the Year

Karen Earl, Chairman of sponsorship consultancy Synergy, was named the first winner of the Sports Businesswoman of the Year Award at today’s 2009 Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards.

The Businesswoman of the Year Award, a new award for 2009, is presented to the most inspirational woman running a business within the sports industry. The award is voted on by a judging panel including Amanda Bennett – Head of Policy, UK Sport; Jo Colin – Head of High Quality PE, Youth Sport Trust and chaired by the BBC Radio 5 Live presenter, Eleanor Oldroyd.

Karen Earl, who this year is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Synergy, is Chairman of the European Sponsorship Association; the sponsorship trade association she co-founded in 1990.

Upon winning, Karen commented:

“I’m absolutely thrilled to win this prestigious award. It’s particularly appropriate to have won whilst Synergy is celebrating its 25th year in business. I, of course, would not have won this award had I not been surrounded by such wonderful people”

Synergy boasts a broad range of clients and some of the biggest brands in the world including Betfair, Bupa, Chivas Regal, Coca-Cola, Guinness and RBS.

Synergy also work with Aviva who until recently were the title sponsor of Dee Caffari.  Dee picked up the The Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration at the awards. Dee said on her Twitter feed:

I was really chuffed to get the recognition and fab to meet amazing sport stars!