Say what you will about lower ispo summer 2005 attendance figures and some quiet halls, there is no denying that for new companies, ispo (both summer and winter) is the show to keep an eye on. The management company twice a year timed with each show runs so-called BrandNew awards for new companies that are not older than four years and have not exhibited at the show.
Winners earn a furnished booth in the BrandNew Village as well as press conferences, promotion materials and generally a heck of a lot of free exposure for nothing. Finalists also get a spot in the village.
Our eyes at ispo in Munich, Germany, from July 3-5 told us the BrandNew Village was a veritable hub of swarming humanity, with a large percentage of those being credentialed media.
The BrandNew awards are what the jury bills as "the world's largest start-up competition in the sporting goods industry." The judges test and select what they find to be the best and most innovative young products and brands.
For the summer version there is a fitness award as well as specific fitness finalists. Here they are, with condensed judges' comments:
Winner, LMA Fitness Award -- Handytrim: This company out of Germany (www.handytrim.com) has a simple little device that appears as if it will smoosh down to the size of a softball. Said the judges, "Handytrim provides the possibility to exercise your upper body both simply and effectivelyâ€¦. (It) consists of two aluminum rings and a disc attached to a rope â€¦. The five basic exercises are easy to learn and make keeping fit fun for people of all ages and athletic abilities. Even the laziest of couch potato will find himself reaching for the mini-trainer instead of the remote control."
Finalist, Kilowatt Sport Ex: "Kilowatt Sport Ex offers new age fitness equipment that will encourage couch potatoes to exercise with the help of video games." (We, of course, know this as the Kilowatt Powergrid in the United States -- www.pwrgrid.com.)
Finalist, Flexi-Bar: "The 1.5-meter fiberglass rod with weights can be used for varied workouts in fitness studios or at home. The Flexi-Bar is simple but effective exercise equipment (sic) that improves posture and strengthens the whole body. www.flexi-bar.com.
To see the entire roster not only for this show but past ones or to look into applying for future award programs, go to www.ispo-brandnew.com.
SNEWSÂ® View: ispo deserves credit for the imagination and foresight to create this award. It's an incredible opportunity for the winners and finalists, and the village has turned into a media circus that benefits not only the new companies, but certainly ispo itself.