Sports Business/12/23/2021

That was the ISPO Year 2021: Stories, Highlights, Inspirations

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Whether Olympics, UEFA Euro or ISPO Munich Online: Sports found creative solutions to the challenges of 2021. We look back at the highlights from the sports business, award-winning products, the most exciting innovations and stories, and inspiring athletes - and take a look at the ISPO year 2022, which already begins in January with a highlight.

Hiker on top
Despite all the challenges, the year 2021 offered some highlights.

We take a look back at our 2021 highlights - from award-winning products to the best stories and latest formats on to the sports stars who made a special impression this year.


Our Event Highlights in 2021

First ISPO Munich Online, ISPO Award and ISPO Brandnew

If Corona makes it impossible for you to come to Munich, ISPO comes to you! The ISPO Munich Online 2021 brought the sports and outdoor industry together virtually at the beginning of February under the motto "Sport is stronger". 545 exhibitors presented their products and innovations to a total of 31,574 trade visitors from 110 countries.

In 2021, the most innovative products and services in the industry were again honored with the renowned ISPO Award - from the digital avalanche rescuer to the perfect outdoor jacket, a revolutionary running shoe subscription to a piece of furniture as a fitness coach.

The Startup of the Year 2021 comes from Germany: West Kiteboarding was awarded ISPO Brandnew Overall Winner 2021 with its unique magnetic binding.


New Formats on

Even more insights in 2021

With three new formats this year, is offering even deeper business insights from insiders, lightness instead of constant stress, and a balanced look at controversial topics of our time:

  • Challenges of a CEO: Here, the most innovative minds in the industry chat out of the closet. What has taken their business to the next level? How are they tackling digitization, sustainability and other megatrends? And what didn't actually work out? Here, CEOs tell us about their journey.
  • 7 Days, 7 Good News: In our Good News we serve you seven news that brighten up your mood every week. Positive, fair and refreshingly compact.
  • Find the Balance: How can togetherness succeed in a polarized world? ISPO looks at trends and discusses them from different angles in order to counter polarization and extremes and to strengthen empathy on important topics.



The Most Exciting Articles in 2021

Interviews, articles and stories on our mega trends in 2021

Which megatrends will determine the sports and outdoor world of the next few years? How will sports and mobility work in the future and with which sustainable gadgets will the next outdoor trip be a guaranteed success? We have answered these and many other questions in 2021 in these articles, among others:

Megatrends 2022: These changes will determine the future

Megatrends, global and long-term changes in people's values and habits, determine social development. We present five megatrends that will change the world of sport.

Urban Mobility 2030 - a journey into the future

We take a journey into the future - and show what urban mobility could look like in 2030. A vision of autonomous driving in Hamburg, cable car trips through Chicago and modular London taxis.

Fortbewegung von Morgen: Unterwegs im autonomen Auto
Image credit:

Climbing hall for all: Inclusion in the dumpling silo

How do you design sports and sports facilities so that everyone can participate? We go in search of clues in the newly renovated Heavens Gate climbing hall in Munich. Because it shows how an old industrial silo can be turned into a place for inclusive sports.

10 sustainable outdoor gadgets

Outdoor adventure planned, but still missing the right gear? With our top ten environmentally friendly and sustainable products, the next tour can begin well equipped.

Find the Balance: #vanlife - How not to turn a trend into a nuisance

Campervans and motorhomes stand for closeness to nature and freedom. But the vanlife boom is pushing the environment and communities to their limits in many places. How can we prevent this trend from becoming a plague? We show where wild camping is really allowed, which digital helpers vanlife fans should know about and which regions are really camping-friendly.

Challenge of a CEO: Corporate responsibility at Houdini - the journey of our lives

Am I working towards something that is relevant? Houdini CEO Eva Karlsson shares how this question shapes corporate responsibility, sustainability and her brand's holistic approach in our new Challenges of a CEO format.

Eva Karlsson has been CEO of the outdoor brand Houdini since 2001.
Eva Karlsson has been CEO of the outdoor brand Houdini since 2001.
Image credit:
Houdini /Rikard Westman

How NFTs are changing sport

After the art market, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are also conquering the world of sports, from the NBA to Adidas. But what exactly is behind these crypto certificates for digital works? We answer the most important questions about NFTs and explain what role the technology could have for the sports business.

Caro North: "Meanwhile I question more and more expeditions"

The alpinist Caro North made a name for herself with the ascent of Cerro Torre, among other things. In this interview, the 30-year-old talks about sustainable expeditions and how difficult they are to implement, her all-female tent camps for the "Girls on Ice" project, and her very personal film "I am North".

5 cool bike initiatives that change urban life

New Mobility is unthinkable in the cities of the future without the role of the bicycle. Initiatives and projects around the world are already strengthening the role of the bike in urban life - and in doing so are also helping to combat problems of civilization such as floods of waste and discrimination. We present five projects from around the world that put the bike in the spotlight.

Participant in the Fancy Women Bike Ride
Participant in the Fancy Women Bike Ride
Image credit:
IMAGO / Altan Gocher

Between home office and home workout: How companies promote employee health

The Covid pandemic has changed our lives and the way we work in many ways. Employers are taking responsibility, but need to sustainably adapt their corporate health management initiatives to the new realities. Wellabe co-founder Michael Theodossiou explains the current challenges and offers concrete tips for strengthening health.


Our Sports Heroes 2021

These athletes inspired us the most

Simone Biles:

Simone Biles showed this year that even living legends of her sport are one thing above all else: human. At the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Biles was expected by an entire nation to win multiple gold medals. But things turned out differently: after a failed jump in the team competition, Biles surprisingly abandoned the competition. A little later she explained that she had made the decision out of consideration for her mental health and cancelled her participation in further competitions. Biles only competed on the balance beam and won bronze.

In a world where footballers are celebrated for continuing to play with concussions and sporting success is too often measured in medals alone, Biles showed on the biggest possible stage in world sport that physical and mental health is the ultimate good.

Kilian Jornet:

World-class Spanish trail runner Kilian Jornet uses his popularity to raise awareness for an issue close to his heart: mountain conservation. Through his Kilian Jornet Foundation, he launches projects such as planting trees or ridding an area of plastic.

For his life's work in sports and his commitment to sustainability, Jornet received the ISPO Cup in 2021 - and made an urgent appeal to the sports world: "We want to ski - we need snow, we want to do trail running - we need mountains, we want to surf - we need a clean ocean. If you want to do these sports, you have to be a strong advocate for protecting these playgrounds."

More inspirational sports stars 2021

The newcomer of the year: Sky Brown

At just 13 years old, Sky Brown is the hope of the British skate scene - and 2021 was her year. At the Olympic skateboarding premiere she won bronze as the youngest British medalist in Olympic history. At the X-Games in California, Brown cleared gold. And already she's a star with 1.4 million Instagram followers and deals with global brands like Nike and Samsung. Yet after a training fall in 2020, not only her skating career but also her life hung by a thread.


Outlook for 2022 Events Trend Festival, OutDoor by ISPO and ISPO Munich

2022 starts with a highlight for the sports industry: At the Trend Festival 2022 we will be presenting the most innovative products, the most exciting newcomers and the most important trends in the sports and outdoor industry from January 17 to February 18. And you can be there with your brand!

In June the outdoor industry will finally meet again in Munich, when from 12 to 14 June the OutDoor by ISPO 2022 opens its doors. Thought leaders, ambassadors, pioneers and innovators - for three days, the leading minds of the sports and outdoor industry will come together to exchange ideas, learn and network.

From 2022, the ISPO Munich will take place permanently at the start of the winter season at the end of November, thus leaving the previous January date. From 25 to 27 November 2022, brands and consumer experts will come together at the Consumer Festival, before exhibitors present their products and innovations at the B2B Tradeshow from 28 to 30 November.

And of course, as usual, you'll find all the news, information and exciting stories from the world of sports 365 days a year on - the first and only mega trend-oriented sports and outdoor magazine.

The entire team wishes you a happy and healthy new year 2022!

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