The World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) Elects New Board of Directors
PRESS RELEASE #10/2022
The World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WSFGI) Elects New Board of Directors
WFSGI 2022 Annual Meetings, General Assembly and World Sports Forum highlight global teamwork, cutting edge services and thought-leadership to increase resilience of the industry
Ittigen (Bern), Switzerland/Munich, Germany, 29 November 2022 – The World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) has elected a new Board of Directors for a three-year term at its General Assembly on November 29, 2022 at ISPO Munich. Andy Rubin, Deputy Chair Pentland Group Ltd., has been elected new Chair of the Board of the WFSGI. All nominated candidates have been confirmed by the General Assembly. Klaus Dittrich, Li Hua, Martin Künzi, Michel Perraudin, Marius Rovers, and George Wood have been awarded WFSGI Honorary Director for their decades of service to the industry.
Andy Rubin thanked the outgoing co-Chairs Motoi Oyama-san, Chairman of the Board of Directors ASICS Corp., and James Zheng, Board Executive Director & Group President of ANTA Sports Products Limited, for their leadership over the last three years. In his inaugural speech he addressed his fellow industry leaders: “Together as the sporting goods industry, we can have a positive impact on the most important global issues and especially climate change, inequality and protectionism. An increased awareness of the benefits of physical activity are a good sign for our industry, but according to the WHO one in four adults and 81% of adolescents globally do not do enough physical activity. The WFSGI serves the sporting goods industry to enable people to be physically active on a healthy planet. During my tenure I would like to see our industry continue to work together to reduce our impact on the planet, inspire more people to move more and promote free and fair trade.”
“Over the past couple of years the sporting goods industry has experienced a major shift”, stated WFSGI President and CEO Robbert de Kock. “We have been able to support our members successfully with leading sources of insights, knowledge and resources. Together with our partner McKinsey we have been analysing the state of the sporting goods industry for the past years. Currently, our Sporting Goods Report 2023 is underway and we can see a few trends that create an almost unparalleled challenging environment for our industry. Geopolitical developments, disrupted global supply chains, and rapidly rising interest rates, and borrowing costs point to a looming global economic recession. With an operationally excellent infrastructure and relevant services in place, we strive to support our members to get ahead of the curve. Corporate Responsibility and Digitisation proof to be very relevant to our
membership. We actively keep addressing pressing industry issues and regulatory developments. At the same time we intensify our collaborations with International Organisations and International Sport Federations for the growth of the industry and sport at large.”
Positive Financial Performance and New MembersThe financial results of WFSGI continue to look positive due to a solid membership and service structure. With ISPO taking place in November this year instead of January, the WFSGI Executive Committee recommended to approve the finances after the conclusion of the fiscal year ending December 2022. Therefore, the closing 2022 and budget 2023 will be approved during an additional ordinary General Assembly on January 26, 2023 in accordance with the WFSGI by laws § 6.2.
On the occasion of the General Assembly the WFSGI officially welcomed the new members that joined this year (since the last General Assembly in February 2022): Deckers Brands (HOKA), PDMR Ldt T/A Greenfields Digital Sports Technology, Velobike, Speedbar and the start-up GRINTA.
World Sports Forum – Sporting Goods 2023The World Sports Forum (WSF) has been established in 2001 under the umbrella of the WFSGI. With the mission to use the power of sports for a better world, the WSF 2022 took place at ISPO on November 28-
29. The ambition of the sessions is to provide thought-leadership to the sporting goods industry. This year, the sessions focussed on new EU distribution rules and the trends for the sporting goods industry 2023. WFSGI Legal Counsel Jochen Schaefer gave an overview of the European Union competition law rules, which are in force since June 1, 2022. These offer new strategic opportunities, but also obligations for sporting goods brands, importers and retailers for their offline and online distribution channels, in particular in the area of direct-to-consumer sales of brands.
The WFSGI and McKinsey & Company gave first insights into the upcoming report “Sporting goods 2023 – the need for resilience in a world in disarray” which will be published in January. Alexander Thiel, Partner and a leader of McKinsey Sporting Goods Practice in EMEA as well as the Consumer Sector in Switzerland, said: “Sporting goods companies have exhibited strong performance over the past two years. However, the industry has to prove its resilience in times of disarray. Key trends shaping the industry are increasing brand relevance, growing pressure to deliver on sustainability promises, nearshoring as an exciting option, and the growing interest in sporting goods assets by private investors. Measures to weather the storm are commercial levers such as smart pricing and channel management, reset of ROI and strengthened brand communications. On the operational side, levers are sourcing and supply chain resilience, product optimization and next gen productivity. In addition, financial aspects such as freeing up cash and exploring divestitures and acquisitions support flexibility.”
Corporate Responsibility: Human Rights and Climate ActionGovernment actors from around the world have attempted to create incentives, and on the flip side put increasingly more legal action as a threat, for human rights due diligence through mandatory regulations and disclosure laws. These laws require businesses to report their policies and practices concerning the identification and mitigation of human rights impacts within their supply chains. Together with Intertek and reuschlaw the WFSGI offered the sporting goods industry a comprehensive overview of relevant human rights due diligence laws in the most important markets. The latest such example is the German Supply Chain Act which will come into force as of 2023.
Earlier this year, the WFSGI signed the UNFCCC Charter for Climate Action of the Fashion Industry which contains the vision to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. This cannot be done alone, but within shared responsibility and collaborative action. The WFSGI has organized a series of webinars to provide guidance for its members and help individual companies to take action. A web-based training course, developed by the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), and a webinar on practical solutions and examples with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and adidas initiated the capacity building.
Digitisation – Online Brand Abuse, Labelling Requirements and Industry StatementAs the digital era evolves, the WFSGI seeks to continue to support its members with the best tools and advocate for robust compliance regulations to the benefit of the industry and consumers. The rapid growth of e-commerce and digital media consumption has undoubtedly offered new global market opportunities for businesses, but also lead to the increasingly common threats of counterfeiting, grey trade, brand abuses, and online piracy. The WFSGI has partnered with Corsearch to offer a new global solution for e-commerce, brands and consumer protection online. The solutions to monitor the intellectual property of brands include trademark screening, trademark searching, trademark watching, domain services, brand and content protection.
Together with Compliance & Risks the WFSGI continues to inform its members about the regulatory trends in the sport and fashion industry. The updates include the latest proposed, enacted and amended regulations and mandatory standards establishing labelling requirements for the sport and fashion industry.
Further, the WFSGI has drafted an amended position paper on the digitisation of product information. On behalf of the global sporting goods industry the statement urges the national regulatory authorities and policy makers to open-up the use of digital product labels for the sporting goods to deliver mandatory product information to consumers. It calls the authorities to adapt the labelling regulatory framework to offer new possibilities to convey the information, with the support of the technological advancements of the 21st century. The statement will be finalised during the Legal Committee Meeting later this week and further communication will follow.
The new world of the Metaverse, NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) and the Web.3 will shape the design of products and the WFSGI will closely monitor legal implications, key considerations and provide inspiration to its membership.
About The World Federation of Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI)
The WFSGI is the world authoritative body for the global sporting goods industry. As an independent not-for-profit association, the federation is home to over 280 direct members and 5’000 indirect members, including the largest names in the sporting goods industry. Collectively, the WFSGI membership represents 70% of the global industry turnover.
Founded in 1978, the mandate of the WFSGI is to unite and serve sports and sports-inspired leisure brands, manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, national/regional federations, industry and trade associations and all sporting goods industry related businesses. As part of its mission, the WFSGI facilitate legally permissible communication and cooperation to enhance competitiveness and innovation. Its 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. The WFSGI seeks to positively influence the way products are manufactured, with a focus on people involved in the manufacturing and the environment.
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