Conference of the ISPO Award 2017: Accolade for Former “Monsters”

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The jubilation over the distinction of the Product of the Year is great: The five segment winners of the ISPO Award have accepted their trophies. “This award is like an accolade,” said Olivier Bernhard of On Running after the award ceremony. 

Olivier Bernhard (left) and Ilmarin Heitz are proud of the PRODUCT OF THE YEAR for On Running.
Olivier Bernhard (left) and Ilmarin Heitz are proud of the PRODUCT OF THE YEAR for On Running.

“Three years ago, we were still in the workshop phase, and disassembled and reassembled running shoes. And today we’re here with this trophy – that’s a really good feeling,” said Bernhard on the first day of ISPO Munich 2017.



“We call our drafts monsters”

It was a long way from the first prototypes of the running shoe Cloudflash up to the title of ISPO Award Product of the Year. “We call our first drafts monsters, because they’re so ugly in the beginning,” says Bernhard. “With us, the motto is: Design follows function. We would never launch a shoe where we weren’t one hundred percent convinced of its function.”

The Cloudflash by the young Swiss company On Running gives its wearers an extra vertical boost through its innovative construction – and looks good, too.

A concept that’s being well-received: “2018 could be the first year where we sell a million pairs of running shoes worldwide,” says Bernhard, a former professional triathlete. “The ISPO Award will definitely help our retailers push our product with customers.”



“ISPO AWARD raises our rating”

The three other segment winners who received their trophies on Sunday are building on the same effect. “We’re getting a lot more attention from the award,” Daniel Steininger, Head of Sales at Wintersteiger, is sure of it.

His company landed a real hit with the 3D scanner Vandra by subsidiary company Bootdoc – and with it won first prize in the Ski segment. “Naturally, the ISPO Award raises our rating on the market. I believe that our representatives will now have it easier convincing retailers about our foot scanner.”

Gains in image and awareness with retailers and consumers – the ISPO Award stands for nothing else. Even Bowflex sees the award as the seal of quality of the sports industry. Their “intelligent” barbells SelectTech 560 thus had it significantly easier coming through on the market.

Out of the niche

For Korua Shapes, winner in the Action segment, the award is quite a surprise yet somehow also consistent. Ultimately, the market is ripe for a new kind of snowboarding. “We asked ourselves: What do you actually need edges for when powdering?” says Brand Manager Nicholas Wolken.

The result is the Tugboat. With its unusual design, it promises more drive and speed than conventional snowboards – and thereby, more fund on and off the piste. “90 percent of snowboarders are riding on the wrong board,” says Wolken.


“What you see in Red Bull snowboarding films doesn’t actually have anything to do with your own reality,” the Swiss national believes. “With the ISPO AWARD, we can move further out of the niche and show that our boards aren’t just something for freaks.” The shiny silver trophy for PRODUCT OF THE YEAR will find a good place at Korua Shapes.

Scarpa uses marketing effect

“We are really proud to present the Ribelle Tech, which won the ISPO Award,“ said Marco Campagna, marketing manager of Scarpa. The Italians are overall winner in the outdoor segment. “This is a completely new concept of boots, which allows the alpinist to go from the valley to the top of the mountain.“

Scarpa wants to use the ISPO AWARD as an extraordinary marketing tool. The Italian brand is getting a lot of media awareness for its awarded product – not only in its home country.

Do it like Scarpa, On Running, Bowflex, Bootdoc and Korua Shapes and apply for the ISPO Award 2018 >>>

Joscha Thieringer Author: Joscha Thieringer