ISPO Award: Winner brands win over the jury with this strategy

We need your consent to enable the rating function!

This feature is only available when corresponding consent is given. Please read the details and accept the service to enable rating function.


The ISPO Award is probably the most famous distinction for sports products worldwide. For sports retail and customers, as well as for journalists and the entire sports industry, the Award is a welcome orientation aid and distinguishing feature. Here, two insiders explain when sports brands should apply and what makes up a good application. With over 500 submissions for the ISPO Award, details can be crucial.

The ISPO Awards: World-famous in the sports industry
The ISPO Awards: World-famous in the sports industry

“An award is like oxygen for all of the employees in the company,” says Stefan Ytterborn, founder of POC, “that motivates everyone down to the roots of their hair.” Ytterborn should know. POC has swept the board multiple times with helmets and protectors at the ISPO Award and other prize ceremonies.

Ytterborn, now only in the POC board of directors, says that, for him, the inward impact is the most important award effect. An award confers self-confidence and creates pride: in the team and the entire company. 

At the same time, from Ytterborn’s perspective, there’s no better marketing that being rewarded by an independent jury. “Instead of talking about yourself, someone else takes care of it,” says the POC founder. 

Five points for a successful application

Because Ytterborn was so successful at awards with POC, the ISPO Information Center in Scandinavia invited the businessman over. He passed on his knowledge at a ISPO Academy on the topic “How to Win an ISPO Award” in Stockholm . Also among the other speakers was Martin Willners, editor-in-chief of the Swedish business newspaper Sportfack, product tester, and experience jury member.

Their most important tips for a successful application can be summed up into five points:

1. A mission for success

Ytterborn: “POC is been so successful with prize ceremonies thus far because it has a clear mission and philosophy as a company.” The application is about presenting this mission and explaining why the company and the product exist at all as a result. The mission using the example of POC: Avoiding injuries and saving lives, and that requires good protectors, helmets, and safety equipment.

Before the jury meeting: The products are waiting for their evaluation
Before the jury meeting: The products are waiting for their evaluation
Image credit:

2. Application needs innovation

“Don’t just apply for the ISPO Award with another black jacket,” says Willners. For him, it’s crucial for an application that the submitted product “really has something that’s new and innovative.” This could be in the field of technology, material, fit, sustainability, but also style.

3. Short and concise presentation

Similar to a sales situation, the presentation time for the product is very short in an application. “Who? What? When? Why? And how?” says Willners. “These are all questions that need to be answered within the first few sentences, in the application video for example.”

With hundreds of applications, every jury member is thankful when they get the most important information on the product and company in a brief, concise manner. That way, the product gets the full attention of the rating jury members.

Humor and a personal touch are also well appreciated by jury members, Willners says.

4. Keep promises

Ytterborn has another clear message to all award applicants: “Stick to your promise – and make sure that you deliver on it.” Products that don’t fulfill the promised performance can damage a company’s reputation.

5. Application is an issue for top management and the CEO

Likewise a clear recommendation out of the ISPO Academy: Those applying for awards and distinctions should best do it at the CEO and top management level. Only then will it be ensured that the company really stands fully behind the application. 

“Of course the goal is to win,” says Willners. But even those who don’t win can still benefit. That’s because, at its core, it’s valuable for every company to be able to present their innovations. 

“Stick to your promise – and make sure that you deliver on it.”
Stefan Ytterborn, founder of POC, repeated Award winner