“New Perspectives on Sports”: with new concepts, new ideas and full halls, the global platform for the sports business continues to grow. Welcoming a significant increase in exhibitors and global participation, ISPO Munich 2023 was the hotspot for the international sports business community from 28 to 30 November. The comprehensive program on ten stages, a variety of networking formats and a wide range of curated exhibitions and activities offered exhibitors, trade show visitors and the international sports community plenty of opportunities to gather information, be inspired and expand their networks. ISPO Munich remains the place to be and is developing into a global platform for the sports business.
With over 2,400 exhibitors and a consistently high level of visitors, ISPO Munich 2023 came to an end. “This year, we were once again able to make it clear that sport in its full spectrum is much more than just exercise, equipment or entertainment. Sport is not only one of the fastest growing, most diverse and most international sectors of the economy, but also an important contributor to society. In addition, sport is an important driver of innovation when it comes to topics such as materials, digitalisation, health and sustainability.” says Tobias Gröber, Head of ISPO Group. “Just as the sports industry is constantly evolving, we too are continually integrating new formats such as masterclasses, innovation labs, conferences and pioneering partnerships such as those with the German Sustainability Award, Laureus, Yunus Sports Hub and Change Now – and we’re doing all this without forgetting our roots in the sporting goods industry.”
ISPO Munich has set itself the goal of bundling the emotional power of sport. That is why this year’s trade show was once again the place to be and provided an ideal stage for new trends, innovative products and solutions. The statistics prove that ISPO Munich is once again viewed as a global platform for the entire industry, retailers and athletes. “I am happy because the transformation of ISPO Munich is in full swing. We are delighted that our trade show is also being recognised worldwide as the place to be for the sports industry. This is reflected in the high level of interest shown by foreign exhibitors and in the enthusiasm of visitors and speakers from all over the world,” says Stefan Rummel, CEO of Messe München Group, who likewise summarises the event positively.
Compared to the previous year, 57 per cent more exhibitors participated. The number of foreign exhibitors, who came to Munich from a total of 54 countries, increased by 64 per cent, thus raising their share among all exhibitors to 93 per cent. The new participants included 93 start-ups, which used the trade show as a platform to raise their profile, gain a foothold in the industry and expand their network. With a total of ten stages, ISPO Munich catered to the increased demand for the conference and supporting programmes, as well as the stronger desire for opportunities for sharing. The facilities included the main stage, which provided ample space for 500 spectators and brought top speakers such as human rights activist and football player Colin Kaepernick to Germany for the first time ever.
Centrepiece: The Future Lab
Following its successful premiere last year, the Future Lab in Hall B1 was again an audience magnet. The reason for this was not only the main stage with its programme of inspiring talks, but above all the six themed areas, where everything revolved around innovation and change in the sports industry. These included the ISPO Brandnew Area, where start-ups and up-and-coming brands with the potential to help shape or even revolutionise the future of the sports industry were presented. Another highlight of the Future Lab was the ISPO Award Area, which exhibited all products and services that were honoured by ISPO in 2023 for their innovative strength, user-friendliness, quality and sustainability.
This year’s premieres also found many fans: ISPO 520M by Highsnobiety and the new Zeitgeist by ISPO platform brought together creative minds from the urban, streetwear and sports fashion sectors, creating new potential and synergies to address new target groups for the sports fashion and outdoor industry and to create new, curated brand experiences. Both young and established brands came together here, for example, The North Face, Salomon, Faction, Beinghunted, Mons Royale, Snow Peak, Wander and ELHO. International design greats such as the Parisian creative artist, DJ and performing artist Stéphane Ashpool were also on hand to guarantee unique flair at the ISPO Munich Disco.
Sustainability and circular economy
Sustainability and environmental awareness have become integral parts of the sports industry. The future of the sports industry was brought to life in the Sustainability Hub in Hall A1. This year, the Material Lab was dedicated to the topic of circularity. An exhibition by Greenroom Voice in cooperation with Studio Nima presented innovative, recyclable and bio-based materials that are currently being developed at high speed and are already being used in recyclable product lines. Visitors at the hub, which was sponsored by VAUDE, were able to touch, smell and even taste these trailblazing materials. Presentations on the topics of “Circular Economy in Sports”, “Climate Solutions for Sustainable Business” and “The Future of Lobbying through Sports” with international experts such as Laura Santucci from the former Obama administration, sustainability pioneer Hunter Lovins and Merijn Dols, the former Global Head of Circular Economy at Danone, invited visitors to join in the discussion. Visitors were likewise welcome to be part of discussions at the Innovation Lab, which invited companies, start-ups and experts to work together on finding solutions to the major challenges facing the industry. The topic of sustainability is so important at ISPO Munich that a delegation from ISPO’s outdoor sector will take part in the UN Climate Change Conference 2023 in Dubai (COP 28 for short), which taked place from 30 November to 12 December 2023.
Tenth anniversary: ISPO Textrends
ISPO Textrends was launched in 2013 with the aim of providing textile manufacturers, designers, product developers and suppliers with a platform where they can present their innovative products and share their ideas. What began on a small scale has grown into an internationally recognised event that attracts professionals from around the globe. ISPO Textrends celebrated its tenth anniversary at ISPO Munich this year: Everything that is important in the world of functional clothing was presented in Hall C1 – from the latest materials and particularly sustainable fabrics to advanced manufacturing techniques. The winners of the ISPO Textrends Awards were also presented here.
“We at Highsnobiety are delighted to again be a partner of ISPO. Once again this year, our Area 520M at ISPO Munich is the melting pot that harmonises style and culture with sport and innovation. ISPO Munich offers the ideal stage for this; the future of sport and sports fashion go hand in hand here.”David Fischer, Highsnobiety CEO & Founder – Partner of ISPO Munich and organiser of 520M
Global platform for the sports industry
“Positive feedback from the industry, retailers and athletes confirms that we have succeeded in viewing and discussing sport in its entirety from multiple perspectives. Under the umbrella of ‘New Perspectives on Sports’, this ranged from technological innovations and social impact to sports fashion trends and sustainability,” said Exhibition Director Lena Haushofer, who joined the chorus of voices summarising the event in glowing terms. The sports community here is more international than ever and the cooperation with renowned partners such as the Yunus Sports Hub, the Laureus Foundation, the German Sustainability Award and Change Now once again proves the importance of ISPO Munich, the world’s largest sports trade show, as a place-to-be and a source of inspiration for the entire industry. New areas and concepts such as Zeitgeist, which combine fashion and sports fashion to create something new, prove that ISPO Munich is indeed the right place for information, inspiration and networking. The same applies to recurring areas such as 520M in cooperation with Highsnobiety, which particularly attracts the younger generation of cultural pioneers as a new target group. Areas dedicated to new sports such as padel tennis, pickle ball or eSports make the latest trends in the industry interactively accessible to visitors and guests. Innovative hubs like the Digitize Hub show how the trending topics of health and digitalisation are being driven forward. The participating exhibitors and speakers are fully satisfied – and everyone is looking forward to what ISPO Munich will offer next year.