ISPOPartner News

Going digital at ISPO 2018

ISPO Munich 2108 looked towards a digital future.

The four-day event, which ended on January 31, saw 2,801 exhibitors in 16 halls attract 84,000 visitors from 120 countries. The digitisation of the retail trade, new segments in ski and snow sports and the change in the outdoor market shaped ISPO Munich 2018.

In the B2B sector, a new format was launched in the form of ISPO Digitize, and in the B2C segment, the first ISPO Munich Sports Week provided end users with insights into the world of innovations.

Klaus Dittrich, Chairman and CEO of Messe München, said: “With ISPO Digitize, we have pointed the way to the future for the sporting goods industry and sports retailing. The next step will be to apply this positive momentum and to get more people excited about sports.”

The Digitize Area provided a glimpse of the digital future. Visitors had an opportunity to learn about digital solutions in product development, manufacture, marketing and sales. With the help of the Digital Readiness Check, they could see just how fit their own business was.

The Digitize Area included adidas, which took part in the fair for the first time since 2006.

Roland Auschel, a member of the Executive Board at adidas who oversees global sales, said: “ISPO created a platform where the opportunities of the digital transformation for retailers and brands can be jointly refined. As the market leader, we came back in order to openly and transparently demonstrate our connection to retailers who see this as a clear opportunity.”

One of the highlights of the fair was the joint symposium organized by ISPO and adidas. It posed one key question to visitors: “Are you ready for the future?” An in-depth report about the symposium is available at

The winter sports segment attracted a large number of visitors this year. Powered by new trends and the use of new technologies in winter sports products, this area is generating huge amounts of interest.

Klaus Dittrich said: “We intend to respond to this dynamic development and will intensify our collaboration work with ski manufacturers.”

The outdoor segment at ISPO Munich has continually grown. “The understanding about what outdoor is has changed over the years,” Dittrich said. “In addition to water sports, running and fitness, the segment now includes fashion as well.”

A visionary of the outdoor industry was honored during the sports trade fair. Gertrude “Gert” Boyle, the former president of Columbia, was presented with the ISPO Cup for her lifetime achievements.

The 93-year-old is the first nonathlete to win the honour. Boyle has been president of and the visionary thinker behind Columbia Sportswear since 1970.

Klaus Dittrich said: “This year, the ISPO Cup will be presented for the first time to someone whose accomplishments do not include scaling the world’s tallest peaks or turning the fastest downhill time.

She impresses us, above all, with her unbelievable energy and power that she applies just when challenges seem to be the toughest.”

Boyle, who was born in Germany to a Jewish textile manufacturer, immigrated to Portland, Oregon, with her family in the 1930s. Following the death of her husband, she rescued Columbia Sportswear from bankruptcy.

Gert Boyle turned Columbia Sportswear into a pacesetter in the sportswear industry by developing innovative athletic and outdoor clothing and marketing it with inimitable humour. She became a prominent figure after appearing as “tough mother” (1984-2005) in the company’s entertaining television spots.

The 93-year-old businesswoman is also well-known for her work on behalf of charitable causes. She is a passionate supporter of the U.S. Special Olympics Team, plays an active role in the fight against cancer and serves as an advocate of children’s rights.

ISPO Munich enhanced its international character once again. The largest growth was produced by Austria, Japan, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Great Britain and the United States.

A total of 2,801 exhibitors showcased their products and innovations. This represents an increase of two percent compared with 2017.

The expanded hall concept was well-received. Thomas Delago, the Managing Director of Nitro Snowboards, said: “The new concept with the central aisle created a feeling of openness. We were able to reach retailers who are not so heavily involved in the snowboard business as a result. Products were not just simply displayed here. They were placed on centre-stage, and trends were showcased.”

Delago said his goal was to increasingly motivate and excite retailers: “The concept was really popular and is heading in the right direction. We are looking forward to refining the idea with ISPO Munich.”

The Munich trade fair centre will open two new halls in 2019: C5 and C6. As a result, ISPO Munich will have a total of 18 halls next year. Growth is expected to be generated primarily by the areas of outdoor, health & fitness and innovative textiles.

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