From 28 to 31 January the eyes of the sports business – as in every year – will be on ISPO Munich 2018 in the Bavarian capital. “Over the next four days, Munich will again be the home of the sports industry”, says Klaus Dittrich, CEO of Messe München GmbH at the main press conference of ISPO Munich 2018. “A multitude of innovations is waiting for us: from fitness and outdoor trends, to innovative textiles, to the latest winter sports equipment.”
More than ever, the focus is on how companies, in their full scope, can best prepare themselves for the future. “We are focussing intensively with a central question: How should the sporting goods industry face up to the digital shift?,” says Dittrich. “We will support the sporting goods industry into a competitive future and for this purpose we have created a new event format: ISPO Digitize. The event will take place for the first time in summer of this year.”
Even in times of change, ISPO Munich remains in the focus of the sports industry as the central contact point. “We are pleased that also in 2018 all 16 halls are fully booked again. We will welcome a total of 2,801 companies from 55 countries, which is an increase of two percent on the previous year. The majority, 88 percent, comes from outside Germany”, says Dittrich. Alongside Germany, the countries with the most participants are China, Taiwan, Italy, the UK, as well as the US and France. The most important partners are the European Outdoor Group (EOG), the Federal Association of the German Sporting Goods Industry (Bundesverband der Deutschen Sportartikelindustrie, BSI), the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) and the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI).
New hall concept depicts change in the industry
“In order to show all relevant developments in an even better way, we have extended our hall concept. The 16 halls are split into eight segments that reflect the developments in the sports industry”, says Dittrich. Under the umbrella of “snowsports”, for example, the diversity of winter Sports is encountered: Skiiing, Freeski, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and tobogganing. With one further hall each, the sectors of Outdoor and Health & Fitness will present this year.
Today, contact with consumers is more important than ever. “ISPO is also breaking new ground here: with the ISPO Munich Week of Sports we are contributing to the sports euphoria in the town. Together with retailers and fitness partners, numerous events will take place in Munich over the course of a week”, says Dittrich. From yoga sessions at Keller Sports to the “Biathlon Camp” at Sporthaus Schuster, numerous actions are planned.
The starting signal falls with the ISPO Munich Night Run on 27 January in Olympiapark. Runners can choose between a 5 km or a 10 km route through Olympiapark. So far, 300 participants have registered for the race. “I will also take part in this and am already really looking forward to this race”, says Dittrich.
Digitization is changing entire industries and thus also the trade fair business. “In the 2021 corporate strategy of Messe München, digitization is a supporting pillar: One year ago, we founded our own Digital division and employed a Chief Digital Officer,” says Dittrich.
As early as 2010, ISPO already began to create additional added value for customers, over and above the simple trade fair event. “We have developed offers for the industry that work 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and around the world. We have continued to build up this offering over the years. Today, ISPO is considered to be a forerunner, among international trade fairs, for the digital future,” says Dittrich.
“With ISPO.com two years ago we created a content portal which, up to the present day, has generated more than five million visitors, of which more than 50 percent are end consumers,” says Dittrich. “In this way, we are extending our reach beyond the exhibition halls towards consumers – without abandoning the character of being a specialist trade fair in the process.”
The digital transformation has already changed the structure of the sports industry along its value chain. “Whether that be new production technologies, the increasing fusion of technology and functionality in sporting goods or different marketing and sales activities that place customers in the center: The systems are becoming ever more complex and require new expertise,” says Dittrich. “This knowledge, along with digital competence, is often missing in companies. However, these are essential, in order to be able to understand the innumerable digital solutions on the market and to apply these correctly.”
Therefore ISPO started the new format ISPO Digitize. “As a partner and forerunner of the industry, we wish to lead our customers into a digital, competitive future. Within the scope of the ISPO Digitize Area in Hall A4, visitors receive a taste of the things with which we will continue in the summer on a larger scale,” says Dittrich. Then, on 28 and 29 June, the annual summit on the topic of digitization for specialist sports retailers and the sporting goods industry will take place.
The area, which is constructed like a future laboratory and called the ISPO Digitize Area, is completely devoted to digital transformation in the sports industry. On more than 1,000 square meters, representatives of specialist sports retail, manufacturers and brands can get an overview of digital technologies and services. With the help of the Digital Readiness Check companies can determine their own digital status. “A new tool that answers participants’ question: How “ready” for digitization is my company? With the test, your own company is put to the digital test,” says Dittrich.
In the exhibition area, the digital forerunner and technological innovation leader within the sports industry adidas will show its digital solutions. It is the continuation of that which started last year with the joint symposium as part of ISPO Munich 2017. “In its digital showroom, adidas shows how the company has digitized its value chain, shared its experiences and, through this knowledge transfer, has contributed toward ensuring the sustainability and competitiveness of the industry,” says Dittrich.
In addition, the company Lectra, a world leader in integrated software solutions for the textile industry, will also present itself. The latest point of sale technologies will be shown in the retail lab. Visitors will additionally find out more about individual ISPO products in the ISPO showroom.
As the most successful network of companies in retail, with a turnover of 1.89 billion Euro in 2017, Sport 2000 is a long-standing partner of ISPO. CEO Hans-Hermann Deters stresses the importance of convincing affiliated companies of the importance of digitization. “The future requires change, therefore we support our retailers with a successful service portfolio. In the end, everything revolves around the customers; we must convince them that we are better than simple e-commerce.”
“We are digitalizing locations, processes and communication and are thereby becoming a cooperative data network for our retailers”, says Deters. “Data exchange is not one-sided here, but it functions as a shared economy.” For Deters and Sport 2000, data management is the central element of the digitization strategy; the topic of digital pricing will also play a large role.
ISPO Munich is relevant and important to retailers
“I am very thankful that ISPO, as the largest driver of growth, is taking up the topic of digitization, because we know that many retailers still have reservations. We will mobilize retailers together”, says Deters. “I make my promise that we will also become involved, in the summer, at ISPO Digitize in June. ISPO has changed very markedly in the last few years and the matters we discuss today are the topics of the future. Therefore, ISPO Munich is relevant and important to our retailers.”
As the most successful corporate network in the retail sector, with a turnover of 1.89 billion euros in 2017, Sport 2000 is a long-standing partner of ISPO. Managing Director Hans-Hermann Deters emphasizes the importance of convincing the associated companies of the importance of digitization. "Future needs change, which is why we support our dealers with a corresponding service portfolio. In the end, everything revolves around the customer, we have to convince him that we are better than pure e-commerce."
"We are digitizing places, processes and communication and thus becoming a cooperative data network for our dealers," says Deters. "The data exchange is not one-sided, but functions as a shared economy." Data management is the central element of the digitization strategy for Deters and Sport 2000, and digital pricing will also play a major role.
"I am very grateful that ISPO is taking up the issue of digitisation as the biggest watchtower driver, because we know that many traders are still afraid of contact. We will mobilize the dealers together," says Deters. "I make my pledge that we will also contribute to ISPO Digitize in the summer, in June. ISPO has undergone major changes over the past few years and what we are discussing today is the issues of the future. That's why ISPO Munich is relevant and important to our dealers."