Messe München GmbH has suspended its ispo summer show until further notice, broadened its alliance with Nielsen Business Media and is lanuching a show for Europe to meet growing demand for quick-turn sourcing in the sporting goods industry, the German company said Friday.


The company said the changes, which follow the defection of many outdoor vendors and retailers to the competing Outdoor show, addresses far-reaching changes in the summer sports market. (See today's related story “OutDoor 2008 Reports Early Vendor Bookings.”)

Messe München pointed to two changes in particular:

  • strong segmentation in individual areas such as running, outdoor, canoe/kayaking, sourcing, etc. with their own actors, order periods, industry demands as well as lifestyles, and
  • rapidly progressing internationalization.


“The industry has confirmed to us in numerous discussions with exhibitors and retailers that the need for platforms in the summer remains substantial,” said Manfred Wutzlhofer, CEO of Messe München. “In agreement with the purchasing associations Intersport and Sport 2000 as well as the industry associations World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), German Association of the Sporting Goods Industry (BSI) and Association of German Sporting Goods Retailers (VDS), we consequently decided to suspend ispo summer with its very wide range of offers until further notice.”


New sourcing show to accompany running show this summer


Wutzlhofer said the industry will still be able to use its Running Order Show and Sports Source Europe to conduct business this summer. 

Messe München is positioning The Running Order Show as the first B2B event for the Running segment worldwide. The show will run in the  Munich Order Center (MOC) from June 29 till July 1, 2008.


“With that, we are providing the sole B2B platform worldwide for the
running segment, which is the driving force of sporting goods retail sales with approximately 20 percent of sales,” said Tobias Gröber, head of ispo Group.

The trade fair will be held in collaboration with the LEX Group, the leading retailers' association for running and walking.


The Running Order Show is divided into the areas of shoes, clothing, accessories, triathlon, Nordic Walking, nutrition, running analysis methods and materials management.


“We expect that the Running Order Show will provide new stimuli for positioning ourselves on the market in the coming years,” said Christian Bossow, managing director of the LEX Group.

Fashion emphasis raises demand for quick-turn sourcing


Sports Source Europe, meanwhile, will bring suppliers and exhibitors in Europe together with a new show – Sports Source Europe – which will run parallel to the new Running Order Show at the MOC. Messe München is billing that show as a way for vendors and retailers to source product more quickly out of low-cost countries encircling Europe. Messe München launched a similar show – Sports Source Asia – in Asia last year.


“At our trade fairs, an increasing number of exhibitors and wholesalers with their own brands have spoken to us about an independent sourcing platform in Europe,” Gröber said. “It is a lot more efficient for them than visiting individual sourcing markets. Because sporting goods are becoming increasingly more fashionable and more oriented to lifestyle, they are increasingly subject to short-term trends. In addition to Asia as the leading production region for sporting goods, sourcing markets at the doorstep of Europe such as North Africa and Eastern Europe and especially Turkey and Portugal are becoming increasingly more important.”

Messe München will launch anotther trade show in Munich in Summer 2009 focusing on the growing fashion element in sports apparel.


“We are paying special attention to the growth segment of sportstyle in this,” said Wutzlhofer. “Consequently, we are planning a platform
for sports-inspired lifestyle in 2009.”


Strategic Alliance with Nielsen Business Media

Messe München GmbH also said it has concluded a strategic alliance with the largest North American sports trade fair organizer Nielsen Business Media to be able to act in all important markets worldwide.


“The creation of lucrative new markets, above all in China, is contributing to the continual internationalization of the sporting goods industry,” said Wutzlhofer. “Consequently, we have concluded a strategic alliance with the biggest North American sport trade fair organizer Nielsen Business Media. Together, we are represented in all important markets worldwide. Thanks to this cooperation, we can also expand our activities substantially in the important North American market. In addition, we are planning to hold trade fairs jointly on new markets.”