An award is something given to a person, a group of people, like a sports team, or an organization in recognition of their excellence in a certain field. An award may be accompanied by trophy, title, certificate, commemorative plaque, medal, badge, pin, or ribbon. An award may carry a monetary prize given to the recipient. For example: the Nobel Prize for contributions to society, or the Pulitzer prize for literary achievements. An award may also simply be a public acknowledgment of excellence, without any tangible token or prize of excellence.
An honorable mention is an award, prize or recognition given to something that does not make it to a higher standing but is worth mentioning in an honorable way.