Liz Cooper is among seven candidates nominated for the Unsung Hero Award at the Stadium Business Awards 2014.
She has been shortlisted alongside the Conversion Crew at the AT&T Center in USA, retail manager Cathy Cubbin at Liverpool FC, volunteer Fred Woolven at Brighton FC, Everton FC’s IT department, volunteer Mick Beddingham at Chesterfield FC and finance manager Nils Grundqvist at the Tele2 Arena in Sweden.
The category focuses on an individual or team who delivers consistently outstanding service to a stadium, arena or major sports venue without recognition.
The winner will be announced at the Stadium Business Awards at the RAF Museum, Hendon, on Wednesday, June 4.
Liz was appointed key accounts manager at the Ricoh Arena in 2004 – in fact before the first brick was even laid! – before she was promoted to marketing director the following year.
Her involvement from the very beginning means there is no other member of the team who has as much knowledge of the Ricoh Arena as a business, entertainment and sporting destination.
Liz has developed excellent relationships with the UK’s leading promoters to secure 24 major concerts such as Take That, Coldplay and Pink which have brought over 514,000 fans to the Ricoh Arena.
She has had an integral role in securing high-profile sporting events including the 2012 Olympics which attracted 200,000 visitors, the Davis Cup tennis and the Champion of Champions snooker tournament.
Liz’s marketing expertise was acknowledged by her peers when the Ricoh Arena scooped bronze at the Meetings Industry Marketing Awards (MIMA) 2013.
The fact Liz goes the extra mile for clients was recognised by Prime Minister David Cameron when he attended the launch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) at the Ricoh Arena.
Jacky Isaac, interim chief executive of the Ricoh Arena, said she was thrilled Liz had been shortlisted for the Unsung Hero Award.
“Liz is the life and soul of the Ricoh Arena and she is thoroughly deserving of this public recognition for the hard work and commitment she shows every day,” she said.
“She is involved in taking the business forward in every aspect. She has developed first-class relationships with key partners including Ricoh and Jaguar Land Rover and she has worked tirelessly not only to retain current sponsorships but to gain new contracts, reinforcing the message that we are committed to delivering outstanding service.
“As well as establishing business relationships with the UK’s leading music promoters, Liz was part of the team which hosted a major conference when the Co-operative Group brought nearly 4,000 delegates to the venue last year.
“Liz is a team player and encourages the whole team to support local and national charities and over the last year, she has contributed to a seven-mile raft race, led a netball team in the UK Corporate Games and cycled 27 miles as part of the 7inseven charity bike challenge.”
Liz is a member of the Coventry NSPCC Business Board which raises money for projects in Coventry and Warwickshire and is part of the Coventry and Warwickshire Place Board – a new marketing and identity proposition for the area.
A Coventry and Warwickshire Champion for over five years, Liz is part of a group of leading decision-makers who promote the area.
Jacky added: “As with many Unsung Heroes, Liz didn’t ask to be nominated for this award so her shortlisting was a complete surprise to her.
“For her work at the Ricoh Arena and promoting Coventry and Warwickshire, we feel she is fully deserving of the recognition since she provides outstanding customer service time after time.”