Sports + Technology Convergence: Two Thumbs Up

Enlightening, educational, and entertaining. That’s one way to describe the experience last week for those who attended SGMA’s Sports + Technology Convergence.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Enlightening, educational, and entertaining. That's one way to describe the experience last week for those who attended SGMA's Sports + Technology Convergence (October 24-26; Estancia Resort & Spa; La Jolla, California). This inaugural event was a business to business experience for leaders in the sporting goods industry and leading technology companies to learn how technology will continue to impact all aspects of the sporting goods business – from fitness equipment to sports apparel to running shoes. In all, nearly 160 people from inside and outside the sporting goods industry were in attendance. In addition to the U.S., there was representation from Canada, Scotland, Finland, Germany, and The Netherlands.

Those professionals in attendance ranged from senior management to engineers to merchandising managers to design directors to product developers. Companies represented included Nike, adidas, Russell Athletic, Spalding, The North Face, Under Armour, Rollerblade, Spalding, Saucony, New Balance, Easton, among others. The presenting speakers represented Motorola, Yahoo, Intel, Google, Dow Corning, MIT, Digital Orchid, Fantasy Sports Association, Rocketfish, HOPSports, among others.

“Our speakers focused on how technology will impact and provide new opportunities to create, distribute, sell, and market sports products,” said SGMA President Tom Cove. “Those in attendance learned how technology can enhance access to and frequency of sports participation. From a product perspective, technological improvements have impacted the entire industry – from baseball bats to tennis racquets to workout clothing to walking shoes.”

“This program was both educational and enlightening,” said SGMA Chairman Tom Rogge (President; Cramer Products; Gardner, KS). “It was a worthwhile investment of my time.”

The campus-like design of the Estancia Resort made it an ideal location for an event of this magnitude. Access to the Learning Center and Learning Theatre kept everybody in close proximity to one another from throughout the conference.

In keeping with the theme of the STC, all attendees were allowed to use hand-held personal digital assistants (PDAs) from Visiontree which allowed everybody to view the event's schedule, read the overall list of attendees, record a comment/opinion,

The comments from those in attendance were filled with positives:

“It's been fantastic. I loved the range of topics covered by the keynote speakers. The speakers planted the seeds for what we'll see in the future.” – Catherine Sun, New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.

“It's been my first event with SGMA. The Motorola ME program was great. It was a good use of my time.” -- Adam Hoey, Sprint Nextel

“I'm glad that I came. The networking has been great.” -- Joe Pacitti, Sporting Chance Initiative

“The Sports + Technology Convergence was very interesting. The cross-fertilization of ideas and interests was quite clear. This conference was well worth my time.” – Run Sutton, Accusplit

“This program was very well organized and a very professional event. For those who did not attend have missed out on the chance to learn about new technologies.” – Larry Stevens, Exercise Friends

There were five main keynote speakers at the STC:

Scott Martin: Senior Director of Global Marketing for Motorola's Mobile ME products
Peter Moore: Microsoft's Corporate VP -- Entertainment and Devices Division
Jim Carroll: this futurist is “One of the 50 International Names to Know” by Online Journalism Review
Ray Kurzweil: this inventor is called “the restless genius” by the Wall Street Journal and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes
Jim Crawford: Retail Industry Analyst

In all, there were 46 speakers/presenters from inside and outside the sporting goods and fitness industries who presented nearly 20 breakout sessions. Their comments were worth noting:

“There's a great deal of technology out there which can be incorporated into traditional sporting goods,” said Troy Severson of Intel.

“We are leapfrogging Hollywood in our ability to produce interactive entertainment,” said Peter Moore of Microsoft.

“For consumers, it's not about buying a product, it's about the experience,” said Scott Martin of Motorola.

All attendees of the event were given an XBOX game from Microsoft and an interactive sports system from Xavix. And, a pair of Oakley Razrwire Eyewear (with Motorola Bluetooth technology) was given away in a promotional drawing among those who registered on the Sports + Technology website. The winner was Graham Johnston (program manager; Sporting Chance Initiative; Scotland).

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

Plans are currently underway to hold the 2nd Sports + Technology Convergence in the fall of 2007.

The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, owner of the SGMA Spring Market and 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.

Related

SGMA’s Sports + Technology Convergence: This Fall

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 13, 2006 – Motorola, Yahoo, Intel, Google, Dow Corning, MIT, Digital Orchid, Fantasy Sports Association, US Telecom, AOL Sports, Polar Electro, Rocketfish, and HOPSports. Those are just a few of the organizations that will help explain how the latest ...read more

SGMA Sports+Technology Convergence 2006: Technology is not the enemy

A host of speakers, keynotes and panelists converged, so to speak, at the first Sports+Technology Convergence by the SGMA in late October with the message -- underlying or blatant -- being technology savvy can work with and for the sporting goods community in many ways. "We are ...read more

Sporting Goods 'Titans' Speak Out At SGMA Event

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 11, 2007 – When ‘captains of commerce' speak, people listen. That's one way to describe the scene during the Manufacturer-Retailer Panel at SGMA's 2nd Annual Industry Leaders Summit (ILS). The event was held March 5-6 at the U.S. Chamber of ...read more

The Canadian Sports Market: Strong and Growing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 28, 2006 – It's a $7 billion market – and on the rise. That's one way to describe the Canadian market for sporting goods equipment, sports clothing/activewear, and athletic footwear. In recent years, the Canadian sports market has been inching ...read more

SGMA Survey Says: Sports Have Year-Round Appeal In U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 14, 2006 – It's the ‘wide world of sports, fitness, and the outdoors.' That's one way to describe the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association's Sports Participation in America (2006 edition) report. In all, there are more than 100 fitness, outdoor, ...read more

SGMA States: U.S. Sports/Recreation Sales Near $115 Billion

Steady as she goes. That's the best way to summarize sales for the U.S. sports products industry, which is approaching $115 billion (at wholesale). According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association's (SGMA) Manufacturers Sales by Category Report (2007 edition), ...read more

"Live" TV/Radio Coverage Set For SGMA Spring Market

Washington, D.C. - June 6, 2007 - Television and radio stations are focusing their attention on new sports and fitness products. That's one way to describe what will be taking place next week during SGMA Spring Market (June 11-13; Sands Expo & Convention Center; Las Vegas, ...read more

SGMA on TV: Promoting Fitness Products

SGMA ON TV: PROMOTING FITNESS PRODUCTSSGMA Sends Fitness Message to Consumers in 20+ TV Markets WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 8, 2007 – The airwaves were abuzz with a message about fitness. That's one way to describe what took place on Friday, January 5th when the Sporting Goods ...read more

Microsoft Corporate VP to Speak at SGMA Event

WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 23, 2006 – How can the sporting goods industry embrace video games and interactive technology to be culturally relevant? That question (and others) will be answered this fall when Microsoft VP Peter Moore (formerly with Reebok) steps to the podium at ...read more