Claudia Klingelhöfer
Claudia Klingelhöfer (editor in chief)

CEO Klaus Dittrich: ISPO Shanghai is a driving force for the Chinese sports market

Sports business in China: Women, kids and digitalization in focus

ISPO makes Shanghai the centre of the sports business with ISPO Shanghai. The most important innovations in summer sports from the four segments Running, Health & Fitness, Outdoor and Water Sports will be presented at the three-day fair (5.7.-7.7.2018). Highlights include the ISPO and Tmall Fashion Show and a visit of the Bundesliga football team Schalke 04.

Vorsitzender der Geschäftsführung der Messe München, Klaus Dittrich: „China ist der Sportmarkt der Zukunft“
Exhibitioin CEO, Klaus Dittrich: "China is the sports market of the future"

The Chinese sports market is growing rapidly and offers huge market potential for Chinese and international manufacturers. "In the next few days you will see why China is the sports market of the future," says Klaus Dittrich, Chairman and CEO of Messe München, with a view to ISPO Shanghai.

Sales in the Chinese sporting goods industry are rising continuously. Experts expect sales to grow to 460 billion US dollars by 2020. Dittrich sees that "a true passion for sports has now set in, in China“. ISPO Shanghai “is a real driving force behind this", Dittrich continued.

The most important facts about ISPO Shanghai at a glance:

  • 526 Exhibitors
  • 655 Brands
  • 35,000 square meters of exhibition space
  • of which are 75 percent Chinese, 25 percent international brands
  • 4 large segments: Running, Health & Fitness, Outdoor and Water Sports
  • Production fair Sports Tech Asia, parallel to the fair

"ISPO Shanghai is one of the most important industry and network platforms in the Asian sporting goods industry," explains Dittrich. In addition to the exhibition, this includes numerous event highlights and a large conference program. The cooperation with the B2C platform Tmall at the last ISPO trade fairs in Munich and China was "a huge success" for the exhibtion director.

This cooperation will also be continued this year. Among other things, "a spart of the live stream, exhibitors will be given the chance to showcase their latest products to an audience of millions in short sessions," explains Dittrich. He is certain that "everyone will find his personal highlight at the fair".

The most important programme highlights of ISPO Shanghai


  • Tmall Live-Broadcasting: New kit presentation by Schalke with Umbro
  • ISPO and Tmall Fashion Show (with Columbia and Jack Wolfskin, among others)
  • Tmall Live-Broadcasting of selected exhibitors
  • E-Commerce Platform with Matchmaking Program
  • VIP Retailer Night
  • Comprehensive ISPO Academy Program
  • Full-day forums on women, children, digitization, running
  • ISPO Award Roadshow
  • ISPO Textrends Roadshow
  • ISPO Startup Village with ISPO Brandnew winners
  • Introduction of OutDoor by ISPO


For the three main topics women, children and digital transformation, ISPO Shanghai has its own forums with renowned experts.

1. Chinese women spend more money on sports

On the subject of women, Dittrich presents interesting statistics for China: "Although women, in contrast to men, statistically speaking, do less sport, they spend more money on sportswear and training lessons. This shows the great potential that the Chinese market with sports goods for women offers.

"To ensure that trade and industry are optimally equipped for the opportunities of this development," he continued, "we are focusing on women in the Women Sport Industry Forum. On the second day of the fair, for example, renowned experts will be presenting the latest trends in product design for the female target group.

2. Large market potential in children's sports

In addition to the female athlete, the market for sporting goods for children has enormous potential: according to the study, around 90 percent of Chinese parents invest around 300 euros per year in their children's active leisure activities. Dittrich: "In light of the growing population, this development is of huge significance for the market."

At the China Kids Sport Industry Development Forum, experts and athletes will inform and discuss about the potentials in children's and youth sports.

Highlights of the three-day fair include the ISPO and Tmall Fashion Show

3. Schalke at ISPO Shanghai Digitize Forum

The third focus topic of ISPO Shanghai is digitalization. At the ISPO Shanghai Digitize Forum, experts from Under Armour and others will discuss digital brand strategy. The marketing director of Schalke 04, Alexander Jobst, presents the digital strategy of the Bundesliga soccer team.

Anyone who wants to be successful in China cannot ignore online trading, which is also an important part of digitalization. The country is the largest e-commerce market in the world. Three-quarters of Chinese buyers also buy sports products on the Internet. In 2017, retailers made 17 percent of sales online. By 2020, this share is to rise to 25 percent.

For this reason, ISPO Shanghai offers the E-Commerce Matchmaking Program. This is where the analogue world is connected to the digital world, says Dittrich. Exhibitors and visitors can exchange ideas with representatives of major online retailers and department stores in separate sessions. For example, manufacturers can make personal contact with large online providers, a " truly excellent networking plattform" for Dittrich. Big players like Amazon, Dangdang and JD participate in the program.

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Claudia Klingelhöfer
Claudia Klingelhöfer (editor in chief)