A few minutes before the award ceremony for the ISPO Award begins, the big monitor behind the trophy stage turns from left to right countless times. It's as if the significance of this trophy had to be pointed out once again. But the word has already spread in the industry: The award is a kind of validation for the companies, also because a jury independent of ISPO distributes it.
Bastian Dietz, ISPO Community Manager Snowsports, and the presenter Nina Eichinger didn't want to waste much time with the procedure on the first day of ISPO Munich 2019 on stage in the ISPO Brandnew area (B4.430). After all this day was not about them, but about the innovators and products of the year. Eichinger moderated the ISPO Award ceremony on stage.
43 experts from twelve countries evaluated the products - and then the jury sometimes came to an ambiguous conclusion. In the first category of gloves, two Gold Winners were awarded, which sometimes happens: the company Black Diamond with its Solano Gloves, to be admired in Hall A3.402, and Auclair Sports with its Race Fusion Glove (Hall B3.510). Eichinger emphasized that the G3 was a winner in racing, which prompted the jury to award the prize. G3 even won two gold medals in snow sports.
By the way, all Gold Winners and Products of the Year can be seen in the middle aisle of Hall B1.
For the jury, the snow sports segment has two requirements: Riding fun and safety. The first videor on the screen behind Dietz already showed this: after avalanche backpacks, helmets and intelligent devices you could see carving winter sportsmen who wore clothing, skied or boarded of course. As Product of the Year, however, the jury chose not the fun boards but a safe ski jacket: Mammuts Sota HS Hooded Jacket (Hall A3.302).
The fully equipped, three-layer Sota HS ski jacket scores with revolutionary technology: it is both breathable and hard-wearing. Mammut uses a special 3D knitting technique for temperature regulation.
"Our planet is our home, our only home, the greatest attraction, is the world - look at it," writes Grüezi Bag. The sleeping bag "Biopod Downwool Nature" (Hall A3.314A) is the Product of the Year at the ISPO Award in the Outdoor segment. It consists of 100 percent pure natural materials - from the packaging to the last button.
"Of course, it gives us a big boost that we won the award. That's something special," says Regina Trautwein, who is responsible for marketing at the company. "We didn't expect to make that much progress at all."
Sustainability is one of this year's trend themes at ISPO Munich 2019, where the sleeping bag fits in perfectly - it is supposed to be taken from nature into nature, so to speak. And keeps you warm thanks to its down and wool filling.
Grüezi Bag's been around for three years. The founder Markus Wiesböck already had an outdoor shop and noticed that it is important to people that they sleep well and are rested during their tours. Therefore he developed a new sleeping bag, first with wool, later also with down, so that the sleeping bag is even warmer and consists purely of natural products. "The next goal is to make it compostable," says Trautwein.
The biggest trends in the outdoor sector in general can be seen again this year in the award-winning products: Materials are becoming lighter and more functional, and more sustainable.
But not only the outdoor area benefits from lighter materials. The urban environment also appreciates the advantages of lightness. Style meets function in the Urban segment of the ISPO Award.
And so the Sordo Boot from outdoor specialist Berg Outdoor is also a sustainable product. It is made entirely of oak leather, Burel and an Apinat outsole. Under favourable environmental conditions, the shoe completely decomposes in just six months. But of course, only after you've run it out. "Berg Outdoor's is challenging the industry," says Gaijs Loning of outdoorguru.com.
What does it mean to digitalize a sports like handball? The developers at Select tried to do exactly that. They integrated a chip into the ball but soon found out that it wasn't that easy: "Bringing the chip in is easy," said the employees at the award ceremony. "But to prevent players from notices the chip was a difficult task."
After a longer test phase, this finally worked out fine, too, so that the ball manufacturer of the EHF Velux Champions League have been able to record everything that happens to the ball on the floor since the 2017/18 season. With some technology, Select has once again de-dusted and rejuvenated the well-known sport - and turned the equipment into a data collector.
The jury was impressed by the innovation: "The Ultimate iBall can increase the popularity of handball and offer great potential for professionalizing sports," says Prof. Dr. Niels Nagel from the German Industry Association for Fitness and Health.
"More than 40 new exhibitors joined the segment this year", said Constanze Fuchs, Community Manager Health & Fashion at ISPO, prior to the ISPO Awards ceremony. Above all because there are new growth opportunities such as Healthy Food or Wearables, which work continuously to improve training and well-being.
The jury was particularly impressed by the Platinum Club Series Treadmill by Life Fitness. "This treadmill features real environments and gamification. This strengthens the motivation to run," says Yara Pastrelli-Kamada of Elements Fitness.