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Sports exhibitions show potential for expansion
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-04-04 09:08

By He Dongxian

In fact, sports exhibition is occupying an undeniable position in the whole exhibition industry no matter at home or abroad.

In China, China International Sporting Goods Show, which was founded in early 1990s, has become one of the three well known sports Expos in the world after only ten years' development, highly valued by sport industry worldwide and domestic sporting goods enterprises.

Several years ago, a report released by an expert team, which consisted of Development Research Center of State Council and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, showed that China International Sporting Goods Show had stepped into the leading position of domestic exhibition industry. It followed exhibitions of machine tool, printing, communications and automobile, ranking the fifth.
The development of sport industry lays the basis

The development of sports exhibition is closely related to the development of sport industry. A retired reporter of China Sports Daily remembered, that people attached little importance to such a mall exhibition when China International Sporting Goods Show was firstly started. The First China International Sporting Goods Show was held in Xi'an, attracting very little concern from the media.

A decade has gone, and China's sport industry has been developing rapidly. China has become a big sporting goods producing country in the world, and "made in China" has taken account 65 percent of the world market share. As for the consumption, according to the evaluation of Euro Asia Consulting (EAC), the market value of sporting goods and sports fashion in China was around US$ 25.9 billion in 2001, up 57.9 percent compared with the US$ 16.4 billion in 1999. EAC predicted that the market value of sporting goods and sports fashion in China in 2006 would increase by another 94.2 percent than 2001, amounting to US$ 50 billion. Along with this stunning figure, China International Sporting Goods Show has become a giant in exhibition industry.

Let's take a look at the international situation. The development of Munich International Trade Fair for Sports Equipment and Fashion (ISPO) is basically synchronized with the development of Germany's sport industry. According to researchers from German sport industry, Germany's sport industry was developed between 1970 and 1980, and the annual output value is 27 billion Euro. About 5 million people are engaged in sport recreation industry.

The US International Sporting Goods Show enjoys equal fame with ISPO in popularity, exhibition scale and influence. The US sport industry entered into a rapid development period since 1960s; its turnover nearly tripled during the 24 years between 1970 and 1994. The total value of sport industry accounted for 2.4 percent of America's GDP in 1999; and in 2002, the total revenue of sport industry reached US$ 213 billion, twice of automobile manufacturing industry. The development is startling. With sport industry as their firm foundation, the development of the two above-mentioned Expos is a logical train of thought.
Opportunities in 2008

It cannot be denied that the forthcoming 2008 Olympic Games held in Beijing has brought about great impetus to the development of sports exhibitions.

A feature of China's sporting goods industry is that even some famous brands get involved in OEM for world famous brands while possessing their own ones. The existing environment is not that favorable since they are faced with both brand competition with world famous brands and price competition with small enterprises in the market.

It's the most deeply planted dream for many domestic sports equipment enterprises to publicize their brands and expand their influence through sports exhibition, and then obtain "the entrance ticket" of 2008 Olympic Games. This dream is associated with brand building and market sales, and is also a powerful weapon in the hand of sporting goods industry to explore market. Of course, it's never easy to make such a dream come true.

Just because of the bright prospect of sports exhibition, lots of cities have shown great interests to this kind of exhibition. "Through such large-scale exhibitions and by taking the advantage of Olympic Games, we want to be a leading sports convention and exhibition city of China", relative principal of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports expressed his ambition. However, he also said frankly that in spite of the attraction of huge business opportunities from Olympic Games, Beijing has to compete with other big cities if it wants to become "Sports Convention and Exhibition Center". This small episode also indicates that "ports Convention and Exhibition Center City" is gradually becoming a temptation.

The principal also said that China International Sporting Goods Show was once held in Beijing in 2001, characterized by the following two aspects. Firstly, Beijing turned "China Sporting Goods Show" into "China International Sporting Goods Show" for the first time; secondly, the exhibition space firstly broke through 60,000 square meters. "Beijing originally attempted to keep The World Exposition, but it had to hand it to Shanghai since China International Exhibition Center is unable to burden The World Exposition with larger-and-larger scale."

Since last year, ISPO CHINA, named as Asian International Sporting Goods Brands and Sports Fashion Expo , has been held in Shanghai, and the Second ISPO CHINA was held this year. There will be summer exhibition and winter exhibition every year from this year on, forging a professional trade exhibition platform for all sporting goods varieties from the entire Asian-Pacific areas. According to visitors, the exhibition emphasizes on the quality rather than the scale, and "brand quality" is its notable feature; a small gift, a pair of shoes and socks, and a piece of snowboard all reveal rigidity and high quality. ISPO has brought about a great many new concepts to China's sport industry. We can learn from others' experiences for our own benefits, and at the same time we should be aware that competition lies not merely between cities. 
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