Say what you will about ispo summer 05 attendance figures and a few quiet halls, but there is no denying that for new companies, ispo (summer and, of course, winter) is the place to be simply because of the BrandNew awards, and the associated BrandNew Village featuring winners and finalists.
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 ispo 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.
A select number of the winners we thought would be of interest to our outdoor subscribers are presented below with condensed judges' comments:
Overall Winner: From Australia, Knog is a new company that offers up a large range of stylish and functional bike accessories. The products range from protection clothing, saddle bags and backpacks, to gloves and attachable lights. Careful attention has been paid to every detail, resulting in products that set themselves apart with their focus on pure function and immaculate design. www.knog.com.au
DuPont Style Award: The young German design company Duckdiver entered the ispo BrandNew Awards with its Surf Lounger -- a chair for urban surfers who want to enjoy that at-the-beach freedom from the comfort of home. The chair is inspired by materials and designs from the world of surfing and adds a touch of the beach-boy lifestyle to peoples' homes, gardens and balconies. www.duckdiver.de
Coolmax Sportswear Award: The Sportswear Award was won by the German brand Maloya. The judges were convinced by the unusually stylish approach to functional bike apparel and the well-thought-out marketing. The founders' love of the outdoors is apparent in every product. www.maloja.de
Riri Water Award: The award for the best watersports product goes to Kampus Wakesk8 from the United States. With footwear especially designed for wakeskating, wakeskates and fins, Kampus was able to sink the competition in the water category. www.kampuswakesk8.com
ispo Global Strategy Award: The young sportswear company Bosco, the first-ever applicant from Russia, developed a unique global strategy to launch its business. The first step was the design of a special sportswear collection for the Russian Olympic team in Athens 2004. This global promotion has catapulted the brand, with its strategically placed Russian logos, into international sport shops. The jury decided to reward this highly effective and unique approach to global marketing with a special award. www.boscosport.ru
In addition to the BrandNew awards, ispo convenes a separate jury to recognize innovation in the outdoor marketplace -- the ispo Outdoor Awards.
And the winners were:
Apparel: SchÃ¶ffel -- Alpine Rock touring pants
Footwear: Lizard -- Agile shoes
Hardware: Lafuma -- Active 30 backpack
Specials: SchÃ¼lke & Mayr GmbH -- Octenisept wound disinfection agent
The jury members included: Christof Schellhammer and Wolfgang Pohl (Mountaineering School Vivalpin), Dr. Bene Benedikt (Chief Editor Alpin), Hans Conrad (Owner Sport Conrad), Rainer Angstl (Sporthaus Schuster), Volker Leuchsner (Chief Editor Klettern), Boris Gnielka (Editor Outdoor), and Tobias GrÃ¶ber (outdoor_ispo Community Manager).
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.