Nominations Process - 5 to Watch Awards

What are the 5 to Watch Awards?

The 5 to Watch Awards recognize excellence.

Presented by George Brown College in partnership with The Globe and Mail, the awards recognize executives who have demonstrated significant success early in their careers and are poised to become the next generation of industry leaders.

They annually celebrate five sports business industry professionals who have achieved remarkable career success before the age of 40.

Click through the tabs below to learn more about the eligibility criteria and nomination process.

Past winners

Table with 5 to Watch Awards displayed

Check out past winners of both the 5 to Watch and Alumni Achievement Awards winners.


The awards are open to sports business professionals from all sectors of the industry. Candidates must be Canadian citizens and have been employed in the business of sport for a minimum of five years. Nominees must also have been under the age of 40 as of December 31, 2020. Canadians working internationally are eligible.

Candidates can only be selected from the following segments of the Sports Industry:

  • Sports Properties
  • Amateur sports bodies including National/Provincial Sports Organizations and Educational Institutions
  • Non-editorial at Media Outlets
  • Event/Promotional/Sports marketing agencies
  • Advertisers, Licensees, Sponsors
  • Large Sports Events

Candidates must work on the business side of their operation (vs. on-field performance roles like a coach).

Sports journalists (e.g. reporters, commentators, photographers, bloggers) and ‘field of play’ staff (e.g. players, coaches) will not be considered for the awards. Prior winners of the 5 to Watch Awards are also not eligible.

Nominees must be available to attend the 5 to Watch Awards Ceremony in person. The ceremony normally takes place in the month of June at George Brown College's Waterfront Campus in downtown Toronto however modifications may need to take place due to COVID-19. Award winners based outside the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) will have their travel and hotel accommodation covered by the event.

Ready to nominate?

Voting Process

The entire pool of candidates will be reviewed by the Nomination Review Committee after the nomination period closes. This committee is comprised of accomplished sports business professionals from a variety of backgrounds. Each committee member will identify their top ten candidates from the pool.

A second round of voting may be required by the Nomination Review Committee to determine the top dozen candidates. The call for a second round will be made at the discretion of the Organizing Committee. In the event of a tie, or a clear divide in the scoring, the final candidate list may be more or less than the anticipated dozen.

Once the final Nomination Review Committee votes have been tabulated, the top candidates will move on to the final round of voting. Finalists will be contacted directly by the Organizing Team. They will be asked to submit a resume and/or bio for review by the Selection Committee. This committee is comprised of senior sports business executives from across the country.

The resumes and/or bios will be the sole criteria used by the Selection Committee to rank the finalists. Each finalist will be given the same opportunity (a two-page resume and/or bio) to tell their story to the judges. Each committee member will independently review the finalists’ resumes (and/or bios) and vote for their top five candidates. The nominees with the five highest vote totals will be declared winners of the 5 to Watch Awards. In the event of a tie, a second round of voting focused on the relevant candidates will be administered.

Ready to nominate?

Nomination Window

Any member of the public may submit a nominee although candidates may not nominate themselves. Candidates may receive multiple nominations provided they are from different individuals.

Late nominations due to technical difficulties and other issues will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All decisions on eligibility will be made at the sole discretion of the 5 to Watch Organizing Committee.

Nominations will remain confidential. The information will only be used for judging purposes.

Ready to nominate?