Tuesday, 23. February 2016

Remarks by Klaus Dittrich on the occasion of the annual primary ISPO BEIJING press conference

Chairman & CEO of Messe München

On the occasion of the annual primary ISPO BEIJING press conference

February 23, 2016, 15:30
China National Convention Center
Conference Room 301

The definitive version of this statement is the speech as it is actually delivered.

Ladies and gentlemen, Welcome to ISPO BEIJING 2016. I can certainly speak on behalf of the whole ISPO community when I say: “Beijing, congratulations on the 2022 Olympic Games!”

The 2022 Winter Olympics offer great opportunities for the whole of China, for Beijing—and of course also for ISPO and its clients. Despite the slowdown in economic growth known as the “new normal,” the signs in the sports industry all point toward growth.

The government is promoting the sports and outdoor sector. The aim is to increase the share of the gross domestic product from its current 0.6 percent to 1 percent by 2025. Foreign investors are welcome. The government is hoping a new campaign will encourage people to become physically active. It's promoting the development of sports facilities and events, and calling for more sport in schools. The development of the Olympic facilities is in full swing.

At present, seven million Chinese people ski or snowboard, while the number of ski tourists has been increasing by 40 percent each year.The Olympic Games are sure to bring a further boom in the popularity of winter sports.

ISPO is the perfect platform for our clients to position themselves in this promising environment and to establish themselves in the Chinese market.

That's not only true for the winter sports trade fair here in Beijing, but also for our new summer sports trade fair in Shanghai.

The response to the first ISPO SHANGHAI was fantastic: More than 350 exhibitors and 470 markets were represented. Representatives from both the industry and trade sectors were highly enthusiastic. A large number of market leaders exhibited their products from the fields of outdoor activities, health and fitness, sports fashion, action sports, running, and water sports. Water sports was particularly successful, and for the first time we had an entire ISPO exhibition area dedicated to water sports. Kayaks, canoes, beach fashion, and water sports accessories attracted a great deal of interest. The second trade fair will take place in the Shanghai New International Expo Center from July 6 to 8. You are warmly invited to come and see it for yourself!

This is now the twelfth installment of ISPO BEIJING. It's the most important multi-segment trade fair in Asia—and it continues to grow. Multi-segment means that all divisions are represented together in their respective market and brand environments. The concept is very successful, and is also used for ISPO SHANGHAI. It creates synergies, ensures the best chances for growth, and paves the way for new areas, such as freeriding, freeskiing, and trail running. At ISPO BEIJING, an area spanning more than 40,000 square metre will house all the latest innovations from the fields of outdoor activities, action sports, skiing, sports fashion, and fabrics and style. All exhibition space has been fully booked. 490 exhibitors (2015: 434) and 700 brands (2015: 656)

The impressively high international participation rates show just how important this trade fair is: 50 percent of the brands come from abroad, more specifically from Europe, the USA, and the Asia-Pacific area. The shared stands from Austria, the Czech Republic, Korea, and Taiwan have also seen further growth, confirming that ISPO BEIJING is the ideal way to enter the Chinese market. Dynafit, Ice Peak, 2XU, Mueller Sports, Kneissl, Ride, KOVEA, and 361 Degrees are all making their first appearances. In the ski segment, the exhibition space has had to be doubled due to the number of applications.

The success of ISPO is also due to our strong partners. Their valuable expertise and networks help guarantee the high quality of ISPO.

We recently extended our successful partnership with Alpitec China to 2022: With the International Tradeshow for Mountain and Winter Technology, organized by Messe Bozen, we are also covering the field of infrastructure. I would like to thank our partners from Alpitec for their incredible support.

I would also like to thank our national and international partners, including the China Commerce Association for General Merchandise (CCAGM), the China Sports Industry (CSI), the European Outdoor Group (EOG), the Scandinavian Outdoor Group (SOG), and the World Federation of Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), all of whom provide ISPO with friendly and professional support.

ISPO reveals the latest market trends. Health, leisure, and sport are becoming increasingly important to people in China. The potential here is enormous, as many sports activities are still in the early stages of development. For example, more and more Chinese people are discovering jogging, investing in equipment and enthusiastically taking part in competitions, such as “Color Runs” and marathons. In 2014, 53 long-distance runs were held; in 2015, this number rose to 132. In 2014, 800,000 Chinese people ran in marathons, with this figure increasing to 1.5 million in 2015. This development is being spurred on by social networks and a number of new fitness apps, which turn jogging into a shared experience.

Gyms and health clubs are also experiencing a boom: Their numbers have more than doubled in the last five years. In 2015, the fitness industry in China achieved a turnover of USD 5.1 billion; this figure is set to rise to as much as USD 6.4 billion by 2018. On average, the fitness industry has grown by 13 percent each year since 2010.

The Winter Olympic Games, the Chinese ski industry, and the infrastructure of ski resorts also feature on the agenda of the Asia Pacific Snow Conference 2016 on Thursday. It's one of the highlights of the program at ISPO BEIJING. Experts from around the world talk about issues such as national funding programs for the ski industry, the planning of snow parks, and concepts for the year-round use of ski resorts.

The China Sports Fashion Trend Forum provides an overview of textile innovations and the Fall/Winter Collection 2017/2018. The Running Village shows innovations for running, and experts and professional runners talk about trends, provide tips, and present their own experiences. The Sports Industry Forum gives a deep insight into the new opportunities for investing in Chinese winter sports, covering a variety of topics, such as the Development Status of China Ski Resorts and the New Focus of Traditional Sport Brands Towards Winter Sports.

The program is rounded off with exciting sports competitions, including bouldering and rock climbing. On Wednesday, the mountain guide and former president of the Union Internationale des Association d’Alpinisme (International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation, UIAA) Jean-Franck Charlet will give a talk on safety standards and the best equipment for rock climbing.

With their awards for start-ups and new products, ISPO also places an important focus on the most exciting innovations in the sports industry.

The awards are also a valuable tool for the winners to increase their international standing and reputation.

ISPO BRANDNEW is the most important prize for young entrepreneurs in the sports industry. We've been awarding this prize for 15 years, and have had more than 5000 participants to date. Many of the former winners—such as GoPro—have developed into brands of global acclaim. The current winners can be found in Hall 2. The picture on the left shows the current Overall Winner ICAROS from Germany: a home trainer that allows you to visit virtual worlds. I've tried it myself and I can tell you that it's a unique experience, entertaining as well as physically challenging.

This year, we also have a winner from China. Rico Lee impressed judges in the Athleisure category. His jacket, made of waterproof denim, protects the wearer from rain and snow.

The ISPO AWARD has also become a coveted title among companies and brands. All over the world, it is recognized as a quality seal for exceptional sports products. There were 535 entries this year.

The ISPO AWARD ASIAN PRODUCTS has been awarded for the last three years. The potential of Asian sports brands is demonstrated by success stories, such as those from Black Yak, Toread, and Kailas. The high level of innovation achieved by all three of these brands was what impressed the panel of judges this year, and they can now put the ISPO AWARD seal of quality to good effect in their national and international marketing efforts. ISPO is, after all, a springboard for Asian brands looking to break into the international market.

ISPO is not just a valued partner during the trade fair period, but is a reliable companion 365 days a year. This includes various services that are on offer. The ISPO Academy has dedicated itself fully to further training. The ACADEMY offers global training programs for retailers, brands, and those interested in the industry. This year, a great tour of China and Japan is planned for the fall.

Ladies and gentlemen,
If you want to get to know the market trends in the Chinese sports industry, don't miss out on ISPO, whether you come to Beijing or Shanghai.

You will gain insights here that are essential for your business success. International sports brands present their innovations, you can benefit from the knowledge of experts from a range of sectors, and you can meet everyone worth knowing in the industry.

At ISPO, you can network in a targeted manner and build up trusting relationships with your business partners face-to-face.

The prospects for the sports industry in China are excellent: All signs point toward further growth. The Olympic Games bring excellent potential. ISPO BEIJING is the perfect platform to take advantage of the opportunities the Olympic Games present.


Kathrin Hagel
PR Manager

+49 89 949-21474

Julia Beckert
Communications Coordinator

+49 89 949-21478