The sports awards ceremony season is in full swing as another year draws towards its conclusion.

Panam Sports became the latest to join the club when it held its inaugural gala event here this week.

Award ceremonies are quite a strange creation as whether its sport or Hollywood, we already know the nominees have enjoyed great success. Another shining trophy is merely a cherry on top of the cake.

People are invested in ceremonies, though.

Whether it is the furore when La La Land beat, then didn’t beat, Moonlight to the Best Picture Oscar in 2017, the annual Ballon d'Or tussle between Messi and Ronaldo, or the questions over the winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award actually does have a personality.

The Panam Sports Awards might be a few editions away from the public caring passionately about the winner of each category, but the roughly two-hour long ceremony was a good opportunity for the organisation to show television viewers about why they should care about Panam Sports.

Strong involvement of star athletes was a good start, with the organisation embracing them as ambassadors rather than wheeling out sporting official after sport official.

The opportunity to showcase Panam Sports' main product, the Pan American Games, was taken to full effect with highlights and athlete speeches used to promote an event, which has struggled to make its mark in certain markets in recent times.

One of the most effective parts of the ceremony was a short video highlighting how the organisation supported the British Virgin Islands to rebuild its sporting infrastructure, following the devastation of Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Sport organisations are not the best at conveying the message to the public about what they stand for and the positive impact have on communities.

However, those watching the ceremony would have had an important snapshot of the direction Panam Sports are taking and its activities.

The Ceremony was in many ways a bitesize version of a week of presentations and panel discussions, undertaken by Panam Sports at the Regional SportAccord Convention and the Americas Best Practices Symposium here.

The regional group bloc of 41 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) were seen as rudderless only a couple of years ago, when they appeared incapable of deciding how to run an election, let alone pulling off a televised ceremony.

Rebranded and refreshed as Panam Sports under President Neven Ilic and secretary general Ivar Sisniega, they appear the most forward thinking of the continental bodies.

"We asked ourselves last year, what do we want to do with the Pan American Games, what is our vision of the Games now and for the future?" Sisniega said earlier this week.

"We looked at these different models and we wanted the Games to be as close to the Olympics as possible.

"Rather than something like the Asian Games which is growing every time, our Games are focused more on excellence and trying to have the best athletes in the continent taking part in the Games. The reason for this is that the money we get from the Pan American Games, we reinvest and give it back to the athletes, NOCs and now confederations.

"We are holding training camps which support athletes from smaller countries, who might not have the strength or the finances to ensure these athletes have training camps. We know we have a strong connection to what happens to sport in the Americas, which has led to us investing $50 million back into sport over the past four years."

Funds have gone towards athletes, but also ensuring NOCs in the region have effective administrative staff and offices.

Sisniega added that each NOC receives an annual grant of $120,000 a year to the purpose of supporting athlete preparation for competitions, along with $100,000 dedicated to helping to develop coaches in each region. The figure is estimated to be around 50 to 60 per cent of the budget of some of Panam Sports' smaller NOCs.

Ideas such as rolling out a mobile coaching application, designed by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, to all NOCs in the region might not make for explosive headlines but are smart nonetheless.

While these are quick wins to help NOCs, Panam Sports' main challenge rests with boosting the prestige of the Pan American Games and rolling out its junior version, which will debut in Cali in 2021.

The Junior Pan American Games has been viewed as necessary for several reasons, including appealing to a new generation of athletes. Immersive viewing experiences have been promised to make the Games relevant to people under the age of 21, who would be watching their peers.

Panam Sports claim the event is a key development opportunity, adding that Governments largely take a short-term view when funding athletes.

By offering qualification to the Pan American Games to the gold medal winners and pushing for all Santiago 2023 sports to be Olympic qualifiers, Panam Sports hope Governments will be encouraged to take a long-term view.

A drawback is the relative political instability in some parts of the region.

The Lima 2019 Pan American Games were hampered for a long period in the build-up by political problems in Peru, while social unrest in Chile and the departure of Santiago 2023’s President and chief executive will undoubtedly be areas of concern.

"It is known that the reality of some Latin American countries is not always the best,” Ilic said. "Some political and social crises have come to the forefront in recent weeks.

"However, the teams of Cali 2021 that will organise the first Junior Pan American Games and Santiago 2023 that will host the next Pan American Games continue to work tirelessly. There have been several meetings and visits of the Commissions and authorities of Panam Sports to support the work of each of these teams."

Given the political and social issues mentioned, Panam Sports' assertion that they will continue to take a more prominent role in the delivery of Games - similar to their hand holding with Lima 2019 - seems a wise move.

Particularly if they want to achieve their long-term aims of maximising the impact of sport in the region.