SGMA Facilitates Discussions On High-Tech Agility/Innovation

SGMA Attracts Futurist Jim Carroll to Fall Conference
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 8, 2006 – Today's teens and pre-teens live, breathe, learn, teach, talk, listen, create, and innovate through a widely networked world that facilitates feedback so quickly that it's rapidly changing how this generation will expect results and satisfaction from new products. Those are the preliminary thoughts of futurist and trends expert Jim Carroll who refers to today's teens and pre-teens as “GenConnect.”
Carroll will focus on “GenConnect” when he delivers a keynote speech -- “The Velocity of Change” -- at SGMA's Sports + Technology Convergence this fall (October 24-26; Estancia Resort & Spa; La Jolla, California).
Carroll estimates, partly from research and partly from the sociological observations of his own two young techies at home, that “GenConnect” is so wired and multi-tasked that it's rapidly lowering their attention spans and dramatically raising their expectations for product performance. For “GenConnect,” return on investment is all about the customer experience. As they become more technologically involved, their expectations for product innovations revolve around interactivity and connectivity. And as technology advances, their patience diminishes.
“GenConnect” is the beneficiary of super-fast, on-demand technology – and companies building products would do well to remember this. With this principle in mind, Carroll finds sporting goods a great place to capture the attention of this young consumer. According to Carroll, “every sport thing we know has become wired.”
It's apparent that the sporting goods industry seems to have found many applications of technology in building a new user experience. From the integration of monitoring devices and athletic shoes comes smart feedback for fitness buffs. For a real thrill, Carroll points to the snowboard and ski industry. From Burton's deal with Motorola for BlueTooth integration to on-board motion analysis to smart-goggles for maps/trail conditions to on-hill marketing opportunities through ski and snowboard connectivity, there's “a lot going on with sticks and planks,” notes Carroll.
To listen to Carroll speak more about “GenConnect's” high demands for control in the customer experience, register for SGMA's Sports + Technology Convergence (October 24-26; Estancia Resort & Spa; La Jolla, California). Jim will address The Velocity of Change and the keys to more agile innovation in the product lifecycle process.
To read more about Jim Carroll's thoughts on the future of innovation and more information on SGMA's Sports + Technology Convergence, contact Kalinda Mathis, SGMA's Director of Marketing, at kmathis@sgma.com or 202-558-5692. The early registration deadline is Thursday, August 24. The special SGMA Sports + Technology Convergence all-inclusive packages include three nights accommodation at the resort (including taxes and fees), all conference activities, and most meals -- $1,995.00 for SGMA members and $2,495 for non-members. To register, contact SGMA at 202-775-1762 or go online at www.sgma.com and click on the Sports + Technology Convergence section.

The major themes of the presentations, panel discussions, and breakout groups will be:
Technology + Marketing Sports and Fitness Products
Technology + Sports and Fitness Product Development
Technology + Sports and Fitness Product Sales and Distribution
Technology + Sports and Fitness Participation

Besides Carroll, there will be nearly 30 speakers/presenters from inside and outside the sporting goods and fitness industries who will present 18 breakout sessions on October 24-26.

In addition to the list of speeches and discussions by thought leaders/experts, there will be an Interactive Lab. There, attendees will be able to have hands-on experiences with products that exemplify how technology has impacted the sports and fitness industries.

For complete details on SGMA's Sport + Technology Convergence, they can be found on the home page of http://stc.sgma.com.

The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, owner of the Sports Research Partnership, is the global business trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry. SGMA enhances industry vitality and fosters sports, fitness, and active lifestyle participation. More information about SGMA can be found at www.sgma.com.

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