It comes as no surprise that the outdoor sports industry is of massive interest to us at Whiteroom. When the agency began over 15 years ago, this sector became a predominant focus for us due to our intense interest in the world of sports and fitness. Along the way, we’ve built relationships with some leading outdoor sports brands, including the design, development and installation of exhibition stands at ISPO and Outdoor by ISPO.
For ISPO 2020, we were enthused to return with our curated stand designs for Merrell, Rab & Lowe Alpine and Muckboot. However, this time, we also revealed the launch of the Ellesse ski-wear stand – more details on these projects coming soon…
With such a keen interest in the progression of the outdoor sports industry over the years, we thought we’d share our most interesting finds at Germany’s biggest outdoor tradeshow; including quotes from some of the biggest players.
It would be impossible to even mention ISPO 2020 without reference to sustainability. Following a challenge from EOCA for exhibitors to have single-use plastic free stands and promote reusable materials, it was clear to see that many brands had take this challenge to heart. During one of the conferences, we learnt that over 60 stands had been designed to be entirely recyclable, including refreshments and giveaways in reusable materials.
Across the busy schedule of talks and panel conferences, the subject of sustainability in retail and outdoor sports, was a key talking point and each speaker had their own views on the matter. Advisories were compelling brands to become more sustainable in order to reduce the amount of waste we churn out daily, whilst the brands themselves understand that their retail relies on keeping the planet safe enough to explore. However, across all speakers, it was clear to see that there was an understanding that sustainability has a long journey ahead.
“If we don’t act responsibly, we will lose our businesses in the sector as there will be no outdoor to explore.” – Arne Strate, EOG
“I am thrilled that sustainability has had such improved visibility in recent years.” – Frank Henke, adidas
“You have to look outside of the technical possibilities and discover the ways in which you can market this to the consumer.” – Steffen Riese, PYUA
BODY & MIND
As well as sustainability, the subject of society and health was also a major trend of ISPO 2020. The retailers exhibiting not only have great respect for their sporting industry, but for the sportsmen who prioritise their health and fitness; pushing to improve their performance. This was not purely limited to excessive purchases of product, but the ways in which the show could promote a holistic view of the human body, mind and environment.
Within the body and mind area, visitors to the show could engage in yoga and wellbeing sessions, as well as conferences on everything from the perfect yogi pose to neuroathletics. Whilst in the team sports hall, the arcade-style games revealed a competitive side in all visitors; exposing even those not focused on outdoor sports to fitness activities.
Yet it wasn’t all physical and we found ourselves intrigued by the conferences dedicated to mental training. Key coaches held talks on how our mind can be our biggest advantage, as well as our closest enemy. With that in mind, they discussed how to progress with a healthy attitude towards exercise and an understanding that “if it’s not easy to do, it doesn’t work”. As a creative agency fuelled by a sports mentality, we can’t say we fully agree with needing it to be easy but we understand that a healthy mindset towards exercise will see more successes.
BREAKING THE RULES
Whilst ISPO is a tradeshow dedicated to outdoor sports, with a plethora of retailers to fulfil this, the show is also a chance for brands to connect and discuss the ways in which they should be shaking up the market; understanding that consistency often results in retail fatigue. Whilst at the show, we engaged in a conference with Daniel Macauley (Brand Wave) who discussed how brands should be ripping up the rulebook and avoiding becoming ‘beige’.
Whilst we appreciated the discussion around sustainability and would not deny the importance of saving our planet, we found Daniel’s comments on the very similar stand designs to be reflecting of every brand jumping on the ‘sustainable bandwagon’. As we progress in 2020, we are intrigued to see if his discussion around being proactive as well as reactive will see brands determining their own trends and disrupting what the rest of the market are trying to achieve.
So, ISPO 2020. Heavily focused on the concept of sustainability, but also incredibly aware of how to design engaging stands. From Picture’s oversized litter through to the adidas Terrex hub of activity, there was no denying how much these modern brands were prioritising the consumer experience. Until next year!
Keep your eyes peeled for our latest projects with Merrell, Ellesse and Rab / Lowe Alpine…