Four days before the opening of the trade fair (February 5-8), it’s already certain: “I can announce an exhibitor record: 2,732 companies will be guests in our halls,” said Dittrich. That’s three percent more than last year. “For four days, Munich will become the meeting place for the international sports industry.”
“We can welcome new companies and brands in every segment of ISPO MUNICH,” says Dittrich, giving examples, “Samsung, Casio, but also Triumph, just to name a few. The outdoor sector has seen particular growth with 40 new exhibitors.”
As a leading company in the field of digitalization, Adidas will give a symposium on the topic “Digitalization as a growth impulse for industry and retail” and an ensuing product event on Monday, February 6. “ISPO MUNICH is the world’s leading trade fair for the sporting goods industry,” said Roland Auschel, member of the Adidas Group’s executive board. The sports trade fair has become an idea laboratory for the industry.
Adidas & ISPO: Together on new paths
When the decision was made to depart from Munich trade fair 11 years ago, the reason was “that our order rhythms did no longer fit with the rhythm of ISPO MUNICH,” explained Auschel. The 365-days-a-year alignment of ISPO has brought the partners back together again.
“One or two years ago, the dialogue between Adidas and ISPO intensified,” said Auschel. “Even thought the order rhythms have changed, we face the same challenges. The sports industry is experiencing a change triggered by digitalization. I’m glad that Adidas and ISPO are exploring these new paths together.”
Warning to retail: “Omni-channel or die”
Digitalization poses major challenges to the entire sports industry, but also to consumers: “We get the chance to address new target groups in an entirely new way. We firmly believe in a combination of the analog and digital world,” said the Adidas board member. The consequences for sports retail, according to Roland Auschel: “Anyone who doesn’t position themselves to be omni-channel will be dead tomorrow.”
Kim Roether, Chairman of the Board at Intersport, agrees: “We need to reach customers on all channels and in every sector.” Stationary sports retail in Germany is currently experiencing a stagnation, making efforts in the digitalization of trade all the more important. “We need to push ahead more bravely.”
Klaus Dittrich: Highlights of ISPO MUNICH
ISPO worked off of the trends and developments in the sports industry magnificently, said Klaus Dittrich. The head of Messe München presented other focuses of ISPO MUNICH 2017:
- “Whether as customers, executives, or influencers – for the first time, ISPO is offering the topic ‘Women in sports’ a forum. One trade fair highlight is the visit by the women’s team of FC Bayern, with five Olympic champions, on Monday.”
- “In the topic of sustainability, ISPO MUNICH is seeing to more transparency in the market: Companies that produce in an especially ecological way will be labeled with a green leaf, both in the catalog and at the booths. For the first time, there will also be a booth just for sustainability in the Outdoor hall A1.”
- “The ISPO Snow & Safety Summit in hall A3 addresses the topic of safety when touring and freeriding with an exhibit and short lectures.”
- “ISPO MUNICH is giving the future topic of wearables lots of room: Exhibitors like Samsung, Casio, Garmin, and Polar will present their innovations in the special ‘Mobile Health & Fitness’ space in hall B5.”
- A very special experience awaits visitors in hall B1: “A joint project between ISPO MUNICH and the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits in Nuremberg and Bogner has resulted in a 500-meter-tall tower of ice in the middle of a winter wonderland, thanks to virtual reality goggles. Here begins a journey through time and the world of Bogner – including a short ski run.”
Sports celebs at ISPO MUNICH
Moreover, ISPO MUNICH 2017 has “lots of prominent guests,” said Dittrich, “Wind and kite surfer Robby Naish, skiing legend Bode Miller, Maria Höfl-Riesch, and ultra runner Florian Neuschwander are among the big names of 2017.”
The 2017 ISPO trophy goes to Hermann Maier, one of the most successful ski racers in the world. The Austrians have never let themselves be thrown off track, and are exemplary in terms of personality, said Dittrich.