ISPO Digitize Summit - The Right Format At The Right Time

With 443 participants from sports retail and the sporting goods industry, the ISPO Digitize Summit, the first digital conference for the sports business, took place from June 28 to 29. The event showed that demand for digital solutions is as high as it is for information. Summaries of the presentations and impressions of the two-day summit can be found on

Looking back on the two-day ISPO Digitize Summit, Tobias Gröber, Executive Director Business Unit Consumer Goods and head of the ISPO Group, says: “The atmosphere was charged with curiosity and inspiration—not only among visitors but also among the speakers and exhibitors.” Giuseppe Lumia, Team Lead Sales at Wirecard, sums up his impressions: “As the event showed, there is a need for digital solutions in the sporting goods industry. The summit was an important first step and will hopefully encourage the sports sector to open up further. The awareness is there. We believe that this issue will grow quickly—along with the platform.”

20 percent of the 443 visitors were from abroad. 65 percent of visitors were from the sports industry, while 35 percent were from the retail sector. Packed audiences during the presentations and the numerous questions and interesting discussions following the presentations and workshops showed just how interested people are in digital issues.

Individual practical workshops

The digital transformation is changing the structure of the entire value chain. The requirements as regards digital solutions are therefore very different. Christoph Rapp, Project Manager of ISPO Digitize, sees this as the key benefit of the summit: “Our concept with a mixture of exhibition space, keynotes, workshops and personal coaching sessions allows us to address specific requirements individually.” During a joint workshop held by Mammut and Foursource for example, everything revolved around the importance of an end-to-end digital transformation for the clothing industry. In contrast, the mobile business expert Heike Scholz presented innovative concepts and solutions allowing sports retailers to seize the opportunities offered by digitalization.

With keynote speakers from companies including BMW, Telekom and AmazonPay, there was input from outside the sports industry too. For example, the presentation given by Peter Schwarzenbauer (BMW) made clear what the sports sector could learn from them. Digital services connected with cars are used to offer experiences for end consumers. This could be applied to the sporting goods industry too. Jyri Hautamäki, Deputy Vice President at Fenix Outdoor International, welcomes the external input: “Sometimes you gain the most inspiration from the presenters outside our own industry. The ISPO Digitize Summit gave us the opportunity to network beyond our usual business contacts.”

Digital Readiness Check: Initial evaluation reveals deficits

When it comes to digitalization, the dynamism of the sports sector applies to only a few companies. This was revealed by the first anonymous evaluation of the Digital Readiness Check which 500 representatives from the sports industry have participated in to date. Summing up the initial results, Professor Karl Peter Fischer from the University of Applied Management in Ismaning described the level of digitalization in most companies as shocking. Sports retailers in particular lag behind when it comes to digitalization. The results also show that numerous companies are only planning to digitize their business or have just started to do so. “The summit confirmed that we have found the right solution for the sports sector. At the same time, we have recognized that sports retailers still find it difficult to tackle digital tasks, often because of a lack of resources,” said Christian Seidl, Managing Director Sales and Marketing at TIE KINETIX

ISPO Digitize enters the next stage

The ISPO Digitize format will continue this week. During the ISPO Shanghai in China, Eric Cao, IT Manager at Nike, will talk about how manufacturers can use digital solutions to launch innovative products on the market. Alexander Jobst, Marketing Director of Schalke 04, will show how international football clubs handle the digitalization. During the ISPO Shanghai Digitize Forum, representatives from Anta, Columbia, The North Face, Toread and Under Armour will discuss profitable digital solutions for sports companies. In Munich, the format will be used again in 2019 and will be integrated into the existing ISPO Munich (February 3-6, 2019) and OutDoor by ISPO (June 30-July 3, 2019) platforms. ISPO will also monitor the digital transformation daily on

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