With rave reviews from over 80,000 attendees, ISPO Munich 2016 was the place to be to see first-hand the latest in sporting innovation, encompassing everything from technology, fashion, and all the latest trends. Industry professionals from around the world flocked to Germany to experience new products and advances in the sector that are the driving force behind the sporting world’s continued forward momentum. In this article, some of the students of the MSc in Sports Industry Management who attended ISPO Munich 2016 give their overview of the event and its successes.
On centre stage this year, in particular, was Health and Fitness. It enjoyed a large new hall, offering more room to Health and Fitness companies eager to show off the fruits of their hard work. In the ISPO BRANDNEW AWARDS, the overall winner was ICAROS, a German device that combines fitness and gaming. All you do is climb on and prepare for take-off! This technology simulates a flying motion, connecting the user to a virtual gaming reality, which allows you to work out and have fun at the same time.
Style and fashion also played a prominent role in this year’s ISPO Munich 2016, with a variety of exciting developments including Spanish clothing brand Desigual, a relative newcomer to the sports market, launching its second sports collection. Aztech Mountain, a young company that designs men’s mountain performance sportswear, was distinguished as the winner in the style category of the ISPO BRANDNEW AWARDS. Its purpose is to combine comfort and practicality, which it does through the use of pioneering materials which provide outstanding performance and feel incredible to wear.
One of the main highlights of the event was the ISPO ACADEMY conference, which ran throughout the trade show. It had a range of talks and panel discussions on a comprehensive range of important topics across ISPO Munich 2016. Talks included one by Alexander Will, the CEO of Meventi, on the opportunities sports companies have in the digital age and how critical this is for the entire economy, and lectures looking at the role of social media in the industry, such as the roles of Instagram, vlogging and marketing on Facebook. Topics also included product development, digital branding and Green textiles.
ISPO Munich 2016 got the year off to an exciting start. Even with a tough pre-Christmas economic trading environment for sports companies around the world, this did not dampen the impressive innovation that was present throughout the event. ISPO Munich has been strengthening its connections with companies and sports professionals since its establishment in 1970, and this year has proved more than ever the truly global momentum present within the sporting world. Last month saw another successful event at ISPO Beijing, and now the focus will switch to ISPO Shanghai, taking place in July, which is also gearing up to be another great show.
One overall thing to take away from ISPO Munich 2016 was how friendly and welcoming the show was, for newcomers and regulars alike. This was shown in the feedback given by MSc in Sports Industry Management students. For example, Hugo F. said “the atmosphere is great, very friendly” while Thibaud G. said he “had the great chance to meet with Magnus Welander, CEO of Thule Group, an inspiring man who was nice enough to share his vision with us for almost an hour.” Visitors were not only impressed by the friendliness of the exhibitors, but also by the size of the event itself. Hicham A. remarked, “the variety and the number of exhibitors was immense” while Pauline G. said “so many companies were represented, and it really made me realize how big the sport industry actually was apart from the big names that we all know. This is something very important for ISPO; it’s not just about the brands that we all know and love but it’s also about those smaller ones which sell their own unique and high-quality products.”