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 How Brands Become and Remain Successful
Startup | 28.09.2016

Discussions and Talks: ISPO Partners with Bits & Pretzels

The Hot Lifestyle Cluster: “Never Let the Brand be Damaged by Inferior Content”

How Brands Become and Remain Successful. Podium discussion at Bits & Pretzels’ Hot Lifestyle Cluster: Peter Bilz-Wohlgemuth, Pamela Reif, Chris Kastenholz, Stefan Mennerich, Fabian Schmidt, Tobias Gröber. (Quelle: ISPO.com)
Podium discussion at Bits & Pretzels’ Hot Lifestyle Cluster: Peter Bilz-Wohlgemuth, Pamela Reif, Chris Kastenholz, Stefan Mennerich, Fabian Schmidt, Tobias Gröber.
Bild: ISPO.com
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Important influencers, successful associations and ground-breaking products of the future: Curated by ISPO Director Tobias Gröber, the Hot Lifestyle Cluster at Bits & Pretzels brought together the cream of the crop from the sports industry.

Naturally Tobias Gröber dressed up in bavarian attire. After all the brand ISPO is at home in Munich – with ISPO MUNICH basically being neighbors with Bits & Pretzels on the fairgrounds, although they happen a few months apart. The connection between the worlds largest sport business network and the worldwide known founders conference expands into more than just a direct neighborhood. 

"ISPO has been a proud partner of the most innovative startups in the sports business", says Gröber in his speech at the start of the Hot Lifestyle Clusters.

With services like the crowdsourcing platform ISPO OPEN INNOVATION – which benefits especially young companies – and the ISPO BRANDNEW competition, which every year selects the most innovative startups in the sport industry, ISPO is the perfect partner for Bits & Pretzels, as ISPO Director Tobias Gröber emphasized.

ISPO as Partner to the Most Innovative Brands

In recent years ISPO has supported many companies which are now globally successful, such as GoPro and On Running, and is the place to go for innovative brands in the sports business. This claim, as Gröber emphasized, is set to be strengthened even more by further digital services development.


The highlight of the Hot Lifestyle Cluster was without a doubt the panel discussion with a thoroughly top-quality set of representatives from across the sports business.

Top-Level Discussion: “Sport is the New Popstar”

Sharing the stage with host Peter Bilz-Wohlgemuth (Chief Technology Officer at The Digitale GmbH), who lead through the debate with the title "Sport is the new popstar", were Pamela Reif (influencer and social media star), Christ Kastenholz (CEO of Pulse Advertising), Stefan Mennerich (Media and Digital Director at FC Bayern Munich), Fabian Schmidt (CEO of Fanmiles) and Tobias Gröber (Director of the ISPO Group).

Naturally, many of the visitors were looking forward to Pamela Reif’s appearance – the 20-year-old has more than two million followers on Instagram and has had an unprecedented success story over the past four years. She has released her own app, which she says has sold very well, without doing any traditional advertising to promote it. Her own secret to success, which also applies to partnerships with companies, is authenticity. “I wouldn’t be associated with products that I don’t personally think are really good,” Reif says.

As a representative for FC Bayern, a worldwide successful football club that is also leading the way digitally, Stefan Mennerich offered deep insights into the club’s social media strategy in response to a question from the audience. An audience member asked if the players are contractually obliged to a social media code of conduct. Mennerich answered: “There is no clause in the contract which holds them to anything. But our players actually handle this really responsibly – they know exactly what is appropriate.”

Exclusive: How FC Bayern Completely Re-Established its Digital Strategy

“Long Term Profit through High-Quality Content”

When it came to content quality, everyone was in agreement: “Never let your brand be damaged by offering inferior content aimed at short term profit. Your goal must always be on profit in the long term through high-quality content,” Stefan Mennerich said in summary.

Alongside the panel discussion, the Hot Lifestyle cluster offered three of the world’s most innovative companies a platform in front of an engaged audience of industry specialists from the textiles, fitness and NFC technology sectors. 

Florian Miguet – CEO of Clim8

Clim8 develops intelligent functional clothing: “Digitization in the clothing industry is only just beginning,” Miguet says. This is the Clim8 approach: “Cold feels different for different people – digital technology helps by monitoring and regulating the temperature of the clothing. Miguet and Clim8’s target group includes standard athletes, those who work outdoors and the military. “The market is booming and there is little competition,” Miguet says.


Daniel Sobhani – CEO of Freeletics

From Munich sports grounds to millions of users worldwide: Freeletics is the fastest growing fitness movement in the world. CEO Daniel Sobhani brought with him six tips for successful branding.

  1. You don’t need meaningless vision statements
  2. Trust yourself enough to be different from the rest
  3. Don’t develop a product, develop a lifestyle
  4. Make your users the loudest voice
  5. Stay straightforward
  6. Don’t hire more employees, hire brand representatives

Discussion: Sport is the new Popstar

Also on the stage were Pamela Reif (influencer and social media star), Christ Kastenholz (CEO of Pulse Advertising), Stefan Mennerich (Media and Digital Director at FC Bayern Munich), Fabian Schmidt (CEO of Fanmiles) and Tobias Gröber (Director of the ISPO Group). When it came to content quality, everyone was in agreement: “Never let your brand be damaged by offering inferior content aimed at short term profit. Your goal must always be on profit in the long term through high-quality content,” Stefan Mennerich said in summary.

Exclusive: How FC Bayern Completely Reorganized its Digital Strategy


Stefan Wolf (CEO of Pop That Tag)

“When we think of the internet of things, we often just imagine a fridge that orders more beer when it’s empty,” says Stefan Wolf. But in reality, the possibilities of NFC technology are much more than that. Wolf himself works with his company on tags which can be used on different objects – for example, an umbrella which informs the user if rain is forecast and it should be packed. “It also works with Ikea furniture and pasta packaging,” says Wolf. You scan the tag once and immediately you have the necessary data on your smartphone.

The Hot Lifestyle Cluster of ISPO at Bits & Pretzels – for Tobias Gröber an "amazing view into the present and future of the digital sports business." The listeners in the audience were the same opinion. Those who weren't a part did certainly miss out: young, but already successful brands in conversations with leaders of the industry.

Julian Galinski (Quelle: ISPO)
Article by Julian Galinski, Senior Editor
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