Lars Becker

Summit on the digital transformation of the sports business with speakers from brands like Adidas

The Future of Digitalization: ISPO Digitize Offers Concrete Solutions

Digitalization is fundamentally changing the sports business. The new ISPO Digitize format, with the premiere of the ISPO Digitize Summit as the highlight on June 28 and 29, will offer solutions for the digital future.

The ISPO Digitize Area was a crowd puller at the ISPO Munich 2018.
The ISPO Digitize Area was a crowd puller at the ISPO Munich 2018.

The official starting signal for the new format ISPO Digitize was sounded in late January ISPO Munich. Messe München obviously hit a nerve of the time: Adidas returned to the world’s largest sports industry trade show in the Digitize space for the first time since 2006.

The sporting goods giant’s presentation on the subject of digitalization was very well received, as were those by Lectra, Foursource, and Sportmas. Over 10,000 visitors were present over the four days. Many manufacturers and retailers from the sports industry informed themselves about digital best practice solutions in product development, manufacturing, marketing, and sales. Another highlight was the joint symposium by ISPO and Adidas addressing the central question “Are you ready for the future?!”

“Setting the right tone for the sports industry with ISPO Digitize”

“With ISPO Digitize, we have set the right signals for the sporting goods industry and specialty sports retail. The positive opportunities offered by digitalization must be utilized in order to attract more people to sports,” says Klaus Dittrich, Chairman of the Board of Messe München.

Check for companies: How digital are you?

A great tool to check how much progress a company has already made in digitalization is the Digital Readiness Check. Professor Karl Peter Fischer developed the free online tool together with ISPO and sees a lot of catching up to do in the industry. “Surveys had revealed that 63 percent of middle-sized companies still do not have any digital strategy,” reports Fischer. “Many still do not have a profile on Google Maps or – that’s alarming.”

Digital Readiness Check by ISPO

The Digital Readiness Check takes 20 to 25 minutes – and you immediately get an evaluation of where you are in the digitalization process and where the biggest gaps are. “Together with what’s happening at ISPO Digitize, each company can create its own strategic roadmap for continuous improvement,” says Tobias Gröber, Head of ISPO.

Three major challenges crystallize in the digital transformation process in the sports industry: Firstly, the issue of personnel, which is set to shape the digital transformation. Then the topic of data protection. And finally, the topic of digital payment transactions for the customer. So it’s a perfect fit that Wirecard is one of ISPO Digitize’s main partners.

Digital trends for the sports industry

The first ISPO Digitize Summit, as the first culmination of ISPO’s digitalization offensive on June 28/29 at the International Congress Center ICM in Munich, will offer “best practice” examples on the subject of digitalization at all levels.

Top-class key note speakers such as Adidas Chief Sales Officer Roland Auschel and Günter Althaus, CEO of the ANWR Group (including Sport 2000), and top managers from technology companies will provide insights into how the potential of digitalization can be utilized. BMW board member Peter Schwarzenbauer and Nils Stamm, CDO Deutsche Telekom, will share insights into their companies’ digital strategies, while renowned digital experts will also present social and cultural trends for the sports industry.

ISPO Digitize is for retailers and manufacturers

“The benefit is that the participants are presented with custom solutions and concepts tailored to their needs, which they can immediately implement in their business. When I go to ISPO Digitize as a player in the sports business, I get the hot topics of digitalization presented in a way that’s tailored to my needs and concrete solutions.

We explicitly address the sports sector, the sports industry, and on the one hand this includes the brands, the manufacturers, but above all retail. From the small specialist to the generalist, the independent retailer as well as the affiliated retailer,” says Head of ISPO Group Tobias Gröber in an interview about the benefits of ISPO Digitize.

Avoiding mistakes in digitalization

ISPO Digitize imparts knowledge that can be translated into concrete, financial business success. This is because many mistakes can happen during digitalization and these can even endanger the existence of the company. That is why Eva Janich of the Swiss consulting company 4moreE gives seven recommendations for the digital transformation:

1. Make your IT department the best! They’re the people who train and advance your other employees.

2. Think of your customers and be market-transparent. Be flexible and always keep adapting your model.

3. Create international pricing models. Manage the transparency of the prices.

4. Adapt incentives and remuneration models, formulate team goals, and promote fair competition amongst the departments.

5. Think long-term and get digital natives on board.

6. Change the culture, not just the methods. Company heads need to set good examples themselves. It’s not enough to say, ‘We’re digital now.’

7. Be honest – with your team and yourself.

Digital transformation: ISPO Digitize as an annual event

How the business with sports is changing as a result of digitalization is the subject of heated debate in the industry. The pioneer Adidas, for example, has precise ideas about what the future of retail will look like. This makes the new ISPO Digitize platform all the more important – it’s meant to provide support to all players in the industry.

Gröber: “We offer the formats of the future, from the use case to the one-on-one coaching solutions. We’re going to bring the topic to Shanghai in July and present a digital focus at ISPO Shanghai. We’re going to give the topic a lot of space at ISPO Munich 2019, as we already did at ISPO Munich 2018 – and, of course, at the new OutDoor by ISPO in 2019, which we will be organizing next year for the first time as Messe München. From now on, ISPO Digitize will become a continuous component of our portfolio at ISPO.”

Lars Becker

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