Due to the pandemic and the cancellation of the physical ISPO and the various travel restrictions around the world, the WFSGI Board of Directors took the decision to stage the 2021 WFSGI General Assembly virtually.
The virtual General Assembly reported the various activities and achievements of WFSGI in 2020 that took place despite the overall challenging circumstances:
Opening remarks at the General Assembly 2021 were made by WFSGI Co-Chairs, Motoi Oyama-san, Chair and CEO, Representative Director ASICS Corp. and James Zheng, Executive Director and President of Anta Sports Products China, and WFSGI President & CEO, Robbert de Kock.
The Co-Chair structure is an ideal match when it comes to the Tokyo Olympic Summer Games 2021 in Japan and the Beijing Olympic Winter Games 2022 in China. As an IOC Recognized Organization and with a Chair coming from each country, the WFSGI is well placed to deliver the right support to the industry and the Olympic movement. With the postponement on the Games, the WFSGI is still working closely with the IOC to determine the best way to maximize our organisation’s synergies for the benefit of the industry, the athletes and the Olympic Movement. The WFSGI continues to build on existing engagement and collaboration with the International Federations and ensures that the industry can continue to support athletes in performance and health, and through promotion.
WFSGI President & CEO, together with WFSGI Treasurer, Martin Kuenzi, announces that despite the exceptionally challenging year, WFSGI managed its finances well by reducing costs where possible and delivering new services, added value and support to members. As a result, the WFSGI achieved a positive result of just over CHF 15,000.
WFSGI Welcomes New Members – Even in an economically challenging state for sporting goods companies, the WFSGI proudly welcomed its newest member in 2020, Ceramic Speed.
New "Start-Up" Membership Category – Along with the already existing membership categories of Industry Supporter/Industry Supplier and Regional or National Association/Organisation, the WFSGI announces a new category for Start-Ups. Aiming to keep WFSGI fresh and relevant, the new category deems to play a role in helping accelerate start-ups develop sustainability and responsibility.
WFSGI Offers New Services:
The WFSGI has recognised the need to evolve its service offering during the pandemic and as a result of trends emerging from 2020, the WFSGI introduced new services in the following areas:
- WFSGI & McKinsey Partnership – Two high-level webinars, jointly organised and presented on "COVID-19 Response – Implications for the Sporting Goods Industry and what companies can do now" and "Perspective on the Sporting Goods Industry post-COVID-19: Trends, Challenges & Opportunities". A further outcome of this partnership is the annual state of the industry report. This year we jointly released the first edition: "Sporting Goods 2021: The Next Normal for an Industry in Flux".
- Monthly WFSGI Survey – The WFSGI has incorporated a new strategic direction: data collection and analysis, to take the pulse of the sporting goods industry and help guide members. The last series of surveys focused on COVID-19 and the impact on the industry.
- "Digitalisation of Product Information" Working Group – As COVID-19 has undoubtedly paved the way for digital transformation as businesses shift operations. Following this trend, the WFSGI announced the creation of the new "Digitalisation of Product Information" task force, aiming at finding concrete solutions to push for digital labelling and at sharing best practices among the sporting goods industry.
- New WFSGI Website – As the sole and unique world authoritative body for the sports industry, the WFSGI’s goal with its new website was to make it faster, easier to navigate and more user-friendly. It presents the working areas and what the Federation is doing to support the industry through committee work, position papers, webinars and working groups. Amongst the new features, the website contains an integrated platform, exclusively reserved for WFSGI members, called the "Members Area", with instant access to meeting minutes, live webinar recordings, industry-specific newsletters, and personalized messages and content.
WFSGI Welcomes New Board Members
The General Assembly saw the election of two newcomers on the WFSGI Board of Directors. The WFSGI is pleased to welcome:
- Jorge Casimiro, Vice President, Chief Public Policy & Social Impact Officer, NIKE, Inc. and President, NIKE Foundation, replacing Sean O’Hollaren, Past WFSGI Chairman of the Board.
- Steve Evers, Chief Executive Officer, IIC-INTERSPORT International Corporation GmbH, replacing Martin Kuenzi, CFO, IIC-INTERSPORT International Corporation GmbH. Künzi will remain the WFSGI Treasurer.
In addition to new Board Members, the WFSGI awards the following with the title, Honorary Director:
- Jeroen Snijders Blok was previously the COO of Accell Group until 2018, later he was appointed as External Affairs Manager at Accell Group. He was also Chair of the WFSGI Bicycle Steering Committing from 2011-2020 and a WFSGI Board Member from 2011-2021.
- Sean O’Hollaren was Senior Vice President, Government and Public Affairs at NIKE, Inc. He was also the immediate Past WFSGI Chair of the Board, serving from 2017-2020. Sean was a WFSGI Board Member from 2014-2020.
The WFSGI appreciates the impact that both have had on the Federation and wish to thank them for their years of dedicated work and service to the industry!
The WFSGI General Assembly also honoured the passing of Frank Dassler (1956-2020). Frank was a titan of the sporting goods industry: a highly respected and driven leader with a long history of dedicating his time to the development of the Industry Federations. WFSGI will make an appropriate posthumous award to recognise Frank’s service to WFSGI at the General Assembly in 2022. The award will be given to Frank’s surviving family and WFSGI hopes that, by January 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic will be sufficiently under control to permit the award to be given in person.
For more information on the WFSGI General Assembly 2021, please don’t hesitate to contact WFSGI Head of Communications, Lilian Berger at firstname.lastname@example.org
The WFSGI is the world authoritative body for the sports industry officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the industry representative within the Olympic Family. The WFSGI is an independent association with no objective of economic character for its own gain and formed by sports and sports-inspired leisure brands, manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, national/regional federations, industry and trade associations and all sporting goods industry related businesses. Our purpose is to represent and inspire the industry, to invest in innovation, promote physical activity, support free trade and do business in an ethical and sustainable way.
As part of our mission we facilitate legally permissible communication and cooperation to enhance competitiveness and innovation. We seek to positively influence the way our products are manufactured, with a focus on people involved in the manufacturing and the environment. Our members are steering the direction of the industry. The future of the sporting goods industry begins with the professional networks that we support.
WFSGI – World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry
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