Klaus Dittrich, Chairman of the Board of Messe München, opened the ISPO Re.Start Days in the new studio at the ICM at the Munich Trade Fair together with double Olympic champion Kristina Vogel and extreme mountaineer Jost Kobusch.
"Never before have we experienced anything like this pandemic. And we are already seeing very clearly the enormous impact on our business," says Dittrich: "At the same time, we are facing an extraordinary boost for digitalization that will affect the whole industry. We also reconsider our approach to sustainability. And: Health is more valuable than ever, especially now."
Digitalization, sustainability and health are the three main topics of the digital live conference.
Kristina Vogel, who is paraplegic after a serious cycling accident during training, addressed inspiring words to the sports and outdoor industry: "You cannot change what is now, but you can change what will be in the future. Now is the time to think more about our planet."
Jost Kobusch strikes a similar chord: "This is a great time to reinvent, rethink and raise awareness for sustainability."
In the first major panel of the ISPO Re.Start Days, Dr. Oliver Pabst (Mammut), Martin Riebel (Deuter), Reiner Gerstner (Schöffel), Mark Held (EOG) and Michael Levi (Columbia Sportswear Company) discussed the question of how the sports and outdoor industry can overcome the coronavirus crisis.
The basic tenor: In the crisis, the industry sees above all an opportunity to establish even greater customer orientation, but also for efficient reorientation as a brand.
Mark Levi of Columbia Sportswear: "We often get stuck in processes and it takes a kick to move to a new level. While the Covid-19 situation has put us all into a difficult position, it has also put in our head, on how to move forward."
Mammut sees the crisis as an "accelerator for megatrends". Dr. Oliver Pabst: "We are not stuck in that situation. We have the opportunity to change and adapt."
Agility, (virtual) customer contact and omnichannel - these are the most important success factors for sports retail during and after Corona. The experts at the ISPO Re.Start Days are very optimistic about the future of the retail sector.
Holger Schwarting, CEO of Sport 2000 in Austria, cites the online store for members of the sports retailer network rolled out during the Corona period as an example. "We had the courage and said: We'll just do it now. In one fell swoop, 100 retailers said that they would join in. Such numbers would have been unthinkable four months ago." This was not the only reason why Stefan Herzog explained that "the Corona crisis had been a tremendous booster for the sports retail trade in terms of digital transformation".
During the lunch break, the participants were able to directly interact with the top experts in the industry in small workshop groups and discuss with them: For example, former bike professional Tarek Rasouli answered questions on the bike market 2030, on how video productions and events differ in terms of costs and on next year's mountain bike event calendar. In his workshop, the newly appointed FEDAS President Stefan Herzog spoke of the newly won agility of the specialist trade and that this will be one of the most important points for the future.
In a workshop of the European Outdoor Group, Pippa Goodman presented a study on the change in the outdoor behaviour of Europeans through Covid-19. The basic tenor: The desire for more outdoor is greater than ever, especially in Spain and Italy, the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus lockdown.
Tang Lifei from the NPD Group presented the most important strategies for sports companies in the Chinese market in view of the changed consumer behaviour after the coronavirus pandemic. For example, there has been a strong shift in demand towards more athlleisure items in 2020.
In an interview at the ISPO Re.Start Days, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus made a plea for a new start into a better, more ambitious world.
"This is the time for reflection", Yunus demanded. After Corona, people could not simply carry on as before. "Do we really want to go back to this world? That world was a terrible world. It will be almost suicidal. There is no way back."
Sport could play a special role in this project.
At the end of the first day of the ISPO Re.Start Days, Tobias Gröber, General Director Business United Consumer Goods, and Dr. Jeanette Loos, Global Head of ISPO Group, gave an insight into the future of ISPO under the motto "50 Years of Tomorrow" on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first ISPO event.
"Our main goal is to keep our industry socially relevant. Yes, it is also about the product, but not only. It is also about the purpose. Do we want to be part of the problem or of the solution? For us it's clear: We want to be part of the solution."
Dr. Jeanette Loos gave an outlook on the next major ISPO event, ISPO Munich 2021 from 31 January to 3 February 2021: "On the occasion of our 50th anniversary, we believe that we have to look forward rather than backwards. We link our brand vision with a clear purpose".
ISPO Munich 2021, for instance, is being planned in close consultation with industry and health authorities, and safety concepts for tracing, social distancing and ventilation are being developed. To support the exhibitors, the deadline for early bird tickets has also been extended.
Furthermore, the ISPO Digitize Summit, which was cancelled this summer due to the corona pandemic, will take place within the framework of the upcoming winter events.
Tobias Gröber: "We want to create valuable connections. Not only within the industry, but to bring in new players and create new partnerships".
Participating in the live digital conference is easy. All information on ticket purchase, registration and the procedure is summarised in the linked article.