And before you can say ‘ wiener schnitzel’, the German tradeshow season is upon us again! As the European sports industry collectively don their glad-rags and prepare for ISPO, Brandwave Managing Director, Daniel Macaulay peers into his crystal ball and gives us his predictions on what some of the key trends will be this year…
This year will be my thirteenth year at ISPO. The show has been running since 1970 so that’s nothing compared to some of the truly grizzled ISPO veterans. It does however cause me to reflect a little bit on how the show has developed over the years. I feel it’s always the same but different. I can remember coming away from the show each year always having identified some key new trends that were set to define the European sports industry for the next twelve months.
So what can we expect for ISPO 2015? To more or less of an extent, here’s what I reckon we’ll be seeing…
1. Death of the ‘lumbersexual’ – The beards and brill cream brigade have had a good run of it but their tenure in the sports industry is coming to an unceremonious end. Let’s face it, hipsters and sport was never a very good match to begin with. They’re all a bit fussy and the sports industry is finally waking up to the fact that the snow and surf in Shoreditch just isn’t that good.
2. Own brand material tech – Don’t get me wrong, most of the branded material technology brands are in great shape and they aren’t going anywhere soon. They still take up the lion’s share of the premium product ranges. That said, now that many brands have established their techy credentials, it may be time for a little cost cutting. While some brands genuinely are developing some amazing new in-house material tech, there are so many options to white-label these days, many just can’t resist.
3. Take to the hills – Outdoor is still one of the fastest growing sectors of the sports apparel market and the action sports industry still wants a slice of the action. The lines are blurring. Many action sports brands will be pushing their new ‘outdoor series’. Similarly many outdoor brands will be inching their way towards the more action sports orientated halls.
4. Frigid feelings – Beware the cold! With two of the warmest winters on record in a Europe, the timing seems a little odd but try not to pay too much attention to global warming; it’s all about cold water surfing this year. ISPO even has a new section dedicated exclusively to the combating of this new menace. It’s a trend that must be leaving the traditional wetsuit manufacturers a little baffled and wondering what has changed.
5. Nano Nano – As far as I’m aware, ‘nano’ means a ‘billionth’ or denotes a factor of 10−9 IE: very very small. For the sake of our industry however, it generally means hydrophobic and hydrophobic technology is absolutely everywhere at the moment. Expect to hear lots about the lotus effect and see even more dramatic interactive demos with water bouncing off things.
6. Selfiemania – Exhibitionism and voyeurism are the mantras of the age of social media. With that the action sports camera market continues to boom. The big boys are finally beginning to catch up. A new generation of ever-smarter cameras with even better GPS and real-time performance info are on their way.
Were we right? Only time will tell… As always, we’ll make sure to pull together a full ISPO review after the show. Either way, we can’t wait for all the ISPO buzz and excitement to kick off again. See you there!