Traditionally for the sport shop (resellers), the winter ISPO focuses on next winter’s ski and sport collections, but has increasingly expanded their fitness, innovation and technology focus. At the show funwithballs.com and icaros.com caught my eye.
This bustling city of 5 million and capital of Germany has a vibrant fitness scene. It also houses the headquarters of Urban Sports Club, a marketplace (internet middleman) active in five countries both in B2B (corporate fitness) and B2C. They are one of my newest clients.
Primarily a personal trip, redeeming a promise to take my son to a UK football match. We watched the Champions League match at Wembley stadium between Tottenham and Dortmund along with 85.000 other fans.
While in London I also had meetings with
- an investment group,
- a respected tennis player and friend Jon Nasta and Glen Rankin of corporate health provider Incorpora
- Paul Llorimer-Wing of Easy Gym and
- Neil Harmsworth, COO of PayasUGym
A trip would not be complete without visiting a health club or two: Digme boutique and Walbrook Health Club (a Virgin Active collection facility)
The 20th Anniversary Forum event is the main B2B event for the health and swimming pool market. Bryan O’Rourke gave the keynote presentation, and I found time to meet up with trusted industry veterans David Minton (Leisure Database Corporation, Gianluca Scazzosi, Fausto Di Guilio (REX) and Biance Gukenberger of Urban Sports Club.
On the way home to Switzerland I had a stop in Cologne, Germany where I visited the new offices of Urban Sports Club (they acquired the Interfit B2B platform last fall).
The „Bodensee“ as it is called in German, touches four countries and has many delightful corners. In February I discovered Ludwighafen, which has some unique sculptures along the waterside. Continuing along the northern coastline of the lake, I stopped in Meersburg just in time to see the Fasching (Carnival) parade before taking the 15 minute ferry to Konstanz and then a 35 minute drive home.
New clients, innovations
Friendscallmejim.com is an Amsterdam-based children’s activity program using Cube equipment and a multi-media concept of specially- created cartoon characters that stand for the five main components of fitness. One of FIBO innovation award applicants, I expect to see this concept grow fast internationally.
17 days straight on the road, commencing March 7th with the
- Meet the Top B2B event on the island of Mallorca, Spain (where I will again give a presentation), then
- IHRSA in San Diego (with a stop each way in Toronto, my birth city where my brothers, sister and mother live), followed by
- the Eckdaten presentation of the 2018 German industry data report at the headquarters of the Gothaer insurance group.
- Onward from Cologne to Saarbrücken to lecture in the MBA program of the German University and finally
- attending the 1st boutique fitness conference at the Mirai center in Oberhausen, Germany.
I write for several trade publications, and have started to post some of
these articles on my website. Here are some links (German and English):
Enjoy the beginning of spring and wish you all a healthy month.