Since 2011, the ISPO Award has been presented annually to the most innovative sports products of the year. Preparations are currently underway for the 2019 edition, the application phase starts on 1 October 2018 - and ends earlier after consultation with many industry representatives, on 7 December.
The companies are honoured in the categories Snowsports, Outdoor, Health & Fitness, Eco Responsibility, Team & Social Sports and Urban. "The ISPO Award makes the top of innovation visible and thus facilitates the search for the most sophisticated products. It offers a wonderful orientation aid in the sports market", says Innovation Expert David Badalec.
The industry representatives had expressed their support for an earlier application deadline, as the products are usually already available to the manufacturers by 7 December anyway. The advantage: Both the award winners and the ISPO can work earlier on the communication of the awards. The award winners also have more time to incorporate the award into their trade fair concept.
David Badalec answered ISPO.com three questions about the innovations of 2019 and the award ceremony.
ISPO.com: What changes have been made to the ISPO Award 2019 compared to previous years?
David Badalec: Compared to the previous awards, there are three decisive changes this year: The closing date for applications is 7 December, we are allowing better practice testing for the jury and we are changing our media relations.
What are the differences in the jury's practical testing?
The jury can try out many of the entries in its meetings, but with others (such as skis) this is much more difficult. The idea this year is that on the weekend before the jury's decision we will use various products live with a core jury and incorporate these opinions into the final decision.
How do you ensure that the award is objective and independent?
This includes three components. Firstly, the composition of the juries: We fill the various specialist juries (outdoor, snow, etc.) with experts from the respective field who have different backgrounds. These are, for example, retailers, journalists, designers, athletes and consumers. They also come from 16 different countries. In this way, we ensure that different perspectives are incorporated into the decision.
The second component is the absence of the ISPO from the jury: we have no vote in the jury, we do not evaluate and have no influence on the members. The third component is the secret voting: The information of the applicants is available to every jury member. They discuss openly and try out the products together - but the voting takes place secretly, with the specially programmed ISPO Award App.