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Industry Talk

ISPO Shanghai reveals potential in China

With sport in China booming, demand for the right sports kit is growing too.

4th April 2019

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Shanghai


High interest in soccer is being registered in China. © ISPO

High interest in soccer is being registered in China. © ISPO

With sport in China booming, demand for the right sports kit is growing too. From clothing to equipment: the latest trends in the running, health and fitness, water sports and outdoor segments will be on show at ISPO Shanghai at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) from 5-7 July 2019. With its Football Activation Area and the matchmaking programme, the trade fair is also emphasising its role as a network platform in China.

As an up-and-coming sports market, China offers national and international brands, manufacturers and other sports business professionals a big sales and investment market. The People’s Republic has a population of around 1.4 billion people. According to a study carried out by Nielsen Sport, 59% of Chinese sports fans live in big cities such as Shanghai, Beijing or Nanjing.

A third of these people actively take part in sport, with running one of the most popular types of sport. Interest in soccer has also grown significantly in recent years and 31% of city dwellers in the 16 to 59-year-old age group now enjoy the sport. This is a huge fan community that is also arousing interest among foreign clubs.

Focus on soccer

With 70,000 new soccer pitches by 2020 and major investments in improved infrastructure, soccer schools and coach training, the Chinese government’s soccer program aims to make China one of the world’s top soccer countries by 2050. For a long time now, foreign clubs too have been interested in the Chinese soccer market. These clubs would like to use their expertise to develop young players’ skills and expand their fan communities in Asia. With the Football Activation Area, ISPO Shanghai aims to achieve both of these goals and is bringing together foreign clubs and Chinese associations.

During the Football Forum, spokespersons from the clubs will present their strategies, show how they would like to be active in the Chinese market and unveil their concepts for developing young players’ skills and brand positioning.

Matchmaking programme

“Knowing the right contacts at the most important (online) trade partners is essential for business success in China and will become increasingly important elsewhere in the world too,” explained Elena Jasper, Exhibition Director for ISPO Shanghai. With an expected turnover of EUR 576 million in 2018, China is the world’s biggest e-commerce market followed by the US with over 456 million Euro.

China is the world’s second-biggest e-commerce market for sports and outdoor products. As part of ISPO Shanghai’s matchmaking program, exhibitors and visitors will have a chance to meet the most important Chinese e-commerce providers and retail chains. “It’s the ideal opportunity to establish new contacts and develop new business models,” said Ms Jasper. A look back at ISPO Shanghai 2018 shows just how successful the concept is: there were 150 meetings between exhibitors, visitors and potential partners.

Knowledge transfer

In addition to numerous networking opportunities, the trade fair also offers a free conference and forum programme for an extensive transfer of knowledge. The planned events include the Retail & Digitalisation Forum, the China Sports Fashion Trend Forum, the Kids & Women Sport Industry Forum and the Watersports Industry Forum.

Market Introduction Seminar

ISPO Shanghai offers companies that are interested in entering the Chinese market a one-day Market Introduction Seminar in Munich. This addresses the following questions: How can a realistic market potential for companies and products be determined? What preparations should a company make for a successful market launch? And how can the right partners be found? Experts will provide answers in Munich on 2 July 2019. The seminar will take place alongside OutDoor by ISPO.

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