15 years of ISPO Beijing: a success story in the growth market of China

8th January 2019

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ISPO Beijing will celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2019. It has been an important event for the Asian sports market since 2005. Ever since it was launched, the trade fair has reflected the continuous changes in the market, highlighted trends and established itself as the industry’s leading platform.

ISPO’s success story in Asia began back in 2005 in Shanghai with “ispo china,” the first international trade fair for sports, fashion and lifestyle brands. As part of Messe München’s internationalization strategy, the existing ISPO concept was exported to the growth market of China where it became a real hit. After two successful years, the first ever “ispo china winter” (now ISPO Beijing) was held in Beijing in 2007, featuring 300 national and international brands. To put this in perspective, 746 brands exhibited in 2018.

Today, ISPO Beijing is the most important trade fair for the sporting goods industry in the Asia-Pacific region. It is the business platform for major international brands such as Burton, Fjällräven, Oakley and Rossignol as well as national major players such as MobiGarden and Kailas and new, emerging start-ups such as PYUA and Rico Lee China.

Economic growth in record time

From an economic perspective, China has developed from an emerging market to a global power at lightning speed. This development is also being reflected in the sporting goods industry: experts predict that annual sales will reach USD 460 billion by 2020. Within just five to ten years, the outdoor and running sectors have developed from practically nothing into real boom areas and important parts of the overall market. Similar developments in the west would take 20 to 25 years. China is also leading the pack when it comes to digitalization. Around three quarters of consumers purchase their sports products online. ISPO Beijing’s response to this development has included collaborating with the Alibaba Group’s B2C online platform Tmall and setting up an e-commerce matchmaking program through which exhibitors and visitors are put in touch with relevant online retailers. “Our recipe for success is to ensure we are in constant communication and dialog with brands, retailers and opinion leaders. We know what the hot trends and topics are. Accordingly, we continue to develop alongside the industry itself and adapt our products and services directly in line with the current needs of our target group,” says Tobias Gröber, Executive Director Business Unit Consumer Goods at Messe München and part of the ISPO team for almost 20 years.

Major sporting events are a real driving force

ISPO Beijing was given a huge boost in 2008 when Beijing hosted the Summer Olympics and therefore also became the focus of the international sports industry. The country’s enthusiasm for sports also surged when China’s bid won. Beijing will also play host to the Winter Olympics in 2022, another major sporting event which is already having a considerable positive impact on the winter sports market in China and hence also ISPO Beijing. 300 million Chinese are expected to actively take part in winter sports by the time the Olympic Games take place.

“China is on its way to becoming the largest sports market in the world. We will therefore do everything we can at ISPO to reflect this development with innovative formats and platforms and to help our partners ensure they also share in this success,” says Gröber reflecting on the next few years for ISPO Beijing.

The 15th edition of ISPO Beijing will be held from January 16 to 19, 2019 at the New China International Exhibition Center (CIEC) in Beijing.

For all other information about ISPO Beijing, please visit https://www.ispo.com/beijing