The PDC have been shortlisted as a finalist in three categories at the 2023 Sports Business Awards, recognising the body’s commitment to growing the sport.
The World Darts Championship has again been shortlisted in the Best Sports Event of the Year category following the phenomenal success of the 2022/23 tournament.
Sell-out crowds at Alexandra Palace were accompanied by record-breaking TV audiences in Germany during a thrilling event, which culminated in the history final between Michael Smith and Michael van Gerwen.
Smith’s triumph in a game which featured “the greatest leg”, as he hit a nine-dart finish after Van Gerwen missed double 12 for a perfect leg, created global headlines for the sport with a hugely memorable moment.
Alongside that nomination, the PDC has also been shortlisted in two new categories, the Women Sports Business Award – Governing Bodies & Teams and Best Sports Community or CSR Scheme – Other Sports.
The PDC’s commitment to women’s darts has continued, with the introduction of the Women’s World Matchplay in 2022 followed by prize money for the PDC Women’s Series doubling in 2023 as the tour expanded to 24 tournaments.
That has seen £265,000 in prize money on offer for women in 2023, alongside places in the World Darts Championship, Grand Slam of Darts, World Youth Championship and Qualifying School on offer.
Entries on the PDC Women’s Series were up by an average of 90 players per Women’s Series event in 2022 to 109 across the first 12 events of this year – including a record entry of 138 for Event 1.
Interest in the sport has also increased off the oche, with post-event analysis of the World Darts Championship from the PDC’s CRM partner Two Circles receiving 10% more respondents from women than in the previous year.
The PDC’s Bullseye Maths scheme has been recognised by being shortlisted in the Best Sports Community or CSR Scheme – Other Sports category.
Bullseye Maths was launched in February 2022 by the PDC in conjunction with Soapbox PR, Nottingham College’s Room 180 Academy and GoDartsPro, and supported by family maths charity Maths on Toast, after research conducted during and following the Covid-19 pandemic showed how school closures had impacted young children’s numeracy levels.
Throughout 2022 and 2023, the PDC have visited primary schools across the UK, holding darts-based maths classes led by staff from Room 180 Academy which feature a mixture of worksheets encouraging problem-solving and practical activities at the dartboard, and engaged a new audience to the sport of darts.
Feedback from pupils involved was overwhelmingly positive, including:
- 81% of pupils felt that, following the Bullseye Maths class, learning maths will be easier when taught as part of a game. This was an 8% increase on the responses supplied before taking part in a session, demonstrating the positive impact which the sessions had on pupils.
- 92% of pupils said they enjoyed the Bullseye Maths class and 90% said they would like to do it again as part of a maths class.
- 69% of pupils said the Bullseye Maths session helped them with their odd and even numbers and 56% of pupils said the Bullseye Maths session helped them with their 2 & 3 times tables.
PDC Chief Executive Matthew Porter said: “It is great recognition for the PDC to be shortlisted in three categories at this year’s Sports Business Awards.
“For the World Darts Championship to again receive a nomination reinforces the stature which the tournament now holds in the sporting calendar, as a highlight of the year for so many.
“It is pleasing that our commitment to inclusivity in sport has been recognised through our continued investment in providing more opportunities to female players.
“We are also delighted that our work in schools through Bullseye Maths scheme has been acknowledged as we continue to develop this exciting concept.”
The PDC have been recognised in recent years at the Sports Business Awards both in the Best Sports Event category as well as for the PDC Home Tour and “Covid Response” following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Sports Business Awards ceremony will be held on Friday November 10 in London