The Industry Reinvents Itself - Sustainability as Gamechanger

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For years, the sports industry has been a forerunner when it comes to groundbreaking innovations for more performance, quality and design. The ISPO Award 2020 made it clear that especially the pace towards a more sustainable production has increased dramatically.

ISPO Award 2020 Group picture with all winners
The ISPO Award honours the best and most innovative producs of the sporting goods industry. At ISPO Munich 2020, the six best products were awarded as Products of the Year.

The tradeshow traditionally begins with a highlight. On the very first day of ISPO Munich, the ISPO Awards are presented. The coveted title "Product of the Year" is awarded among the Award's Gold Winners.

"Be honest can the sports industry deliver real innovation every year?" Host Nina Eichinger starts the day off with a provocative question to the jury. Cath Prisk, juror and social entrepreneur does not think twice. "Yes, definitely. The access to and variety of outdoor activities is constantly increasing. The developments in sustainability are particularly impressive - both the large manufacturers and smaller companies offer many new approaches to ecologically and socially sustainable production".

Sustainability Did Not Just Come Here, It Is Firmly Anchored

The Süddeutsche Zeitung writes on its front page on the occasion of ISPO Munich "The sporting goods industry is discovering a new topic for itself: sustainability." But the sports industry is already much further along. Behind most of the products that were successful in the ISPO Award, there are decades of development in the areas of sustainable technology, logistics and production.

"Sustainability is no longer a trend. The topic has really established itself - and it will not go away," says Franziska Zindl, Head of ISPO Award, Brandnew and Textrends at ISPO. This is why the trade fair is presenting its own Sustainability Achievement for the first time this year as part of the ISPO Awardswith which outstanding approaches for more sustainability are specially honoured.

Product of the Year: New Solutions, New Technologies, New Markets

And even those who want to be named "Product of the Year" have little chance without a sustainable overall concept. It is about the interaction of production methods, performance, degree of innovation, design and market potential. "The selection is difficult because the manufacturers really only submit products for which they are convinced of their chances of winning," says Franziska Zindl. This year, six products convinced the jury of their outstanding features and secured the award.

Alpina Sports - the First Back Protector Made of New Wool

The back protector from ALPINA SPORTS makes it particularly clear that there are always alternatives to classic polymers. In the PROLAN VEST both the protector plate and the vest are made of pure new wool from European sheep.

"Our highest maxim is to manufacture products for the safety of skiers and cyclists. This was previously not possible without plastics. We are all the more pleased about this development success, which also sends a signal to the industry. A safety product made from sheep's wool has not yet been available. But the advantages speak for themselves: temperature-independent protection, natural comfort, an excellent body climate, odour neutrality and, very importantly, sustainability."

Moritz Maier, Head of Marketing ALPINA Sports

ALPINA SPORTS Head of Marketing, Moritz Maier, with the Product of the Year Award
Image credit:
Messe München GmbH

THE NORTH FACE - Future Technologies for the Toughest Conditions in the World

ISPO Munich has always stood for innovation. This is where the performance sportswear of the future is presented. THE NORTH FACE integrates five new technologies into its Advanced Mountain Kit collection.

"Our Advanced Mountain Kit is designed to enable athletes to climb the world's toughest terrain faster and more efficiently. With this unique system we put the needs of the athletes in the foreground - as with our SUMMIT L3 50/50 DOWN HOODIE. The jacket has a completely new thermal insulation. It offers groundbreaking breathability with less volume. This significantly improves temperature regulation and flexibility."

Scott Mellin, General Manager of Mountain Sports THE NORTH FACE

General Manager THE NORTH FACE, Scott Mellin, with the Product of the Year Award
Image credit:
Messe München GmbH

ProteGear - More Safety in All Outdoor Areas

The personal experience of an emergency inspired the founders to create this product. The smart outdoor tool not only convinces those who have been in a predicament themselves.

"For over 20 years I have been active in water sports. On the lake and in the sea, it is important to be aware early on if there is a problem or someone is drifting away. Our tracking device does just that and sounds the alarm in an emergency. With a forerunner concept we were already at the ISPO Brandnew a few years ago. We have now completed our product development, and from March we will be able toA*LIVE SmartSafety Tooland are very pleased about the "Product of the Year" award.

Markus Schlittenbauer, Management Board ProteGear

ProteGear Managing Director, Markus Schlittenbauer, with the Product of the Year Award
Image credit:
Messe München GmbH

VEJA CONDOR - The First "Post Petroleum Running Shoe" in the World

For over ten years, VEJA has been pursuing the mission of sustainable production, beyond greenwashing. The jury was particularly impressed by the performance of the running shoe.

"We are very proud. Because the award shows how important the topic of sustainability is for the entire industry. In 2005 I was alone at the ISPO Munich and now this recognition for a shoe that we only launched in September 2019. For over four years we have followed the mission to produce the first performance running shoe without plastic and petroleum. The way there was hard and I sometimes felt like I was in a Formula 1 team where you are under enormous time pressure and face almost insoluble technical challenges".

Sebastien Kopp, Co-Founder VEJA

VEJA founder with the Product of the Year Award
Image credit:
Messe München GmbH

GORE Wear - The Perfect Total Package for Ambitious Runners

The new running jacket from GORE Wear masters the trinity of lightness, breathability and thermal insulation and provides ambitious runners with equipment for cold days.

"We took part in the ISPO Award because it is a widespread and recognised seal of quality in the sports industry - and of course because we were convinced that we had good chances of winning! We want to stand out by offering our customers real added value. Our Product of the Year, the GORE R5 GORE-TEX INFINIUM Insulated Jacket, brings real benefits to runners with its unique technology, look and feel."

Jürgen Kurapkat, European PR GORE-TEX Footwear at W.L. Gore & Associates

GORE Wear with Product of the Year Award
Image credit:
Messe München GmbH

TRIPSTIX ClustAir Surfboards - Spot Landing to Win the Title

The young Munich company TRIPSTIX has a clear goal: To revolutionize traveling with surfboards. Especially for beginners and in fun sports, the boards from Bavaria open up new possibilities, can be easily transported by train, small car, bike or on foot.

"In the meantime, I didn't believe myself that we would be finished in time. I entered the ISPO Award very early on because I am so convinced of the product. But I still had to build the prototype. I really started a year ago. ClustAir is a further development of the Vacuuair technology, which opens up new possibilities in almost all areas of water sports. The boards are stiffer and more robust than all other inflatable boards on the market. I am glad that the jury finally saw the overall concept and the great potential."

Dr.-Ing Stefan Klare, CEO Tripstix

Tripstix CEO, Dr.-Ing Stefan Klare, with the Product of the Year Award
Image credit:
Messe München GmbH