The next edition of Ispo Munich, Feb. 7-10, will celebrate two anniversaries: the world’s biggest sports trade show will open its doors for the 70th time, marking 40 years in the business.

The show launched in 1970 in Munich on 45,000 sq. meters with 11,000 visitors. Today, on the new fairground of Messe Munich, it has grown to 175,000 sq. meters and 60,000 visitors last year. To accommodate the larger number of attendees, the show added a new category of visitors, the so-called opinion leaders, which includes athletes, trainers and buyers from organizations including hospitals and police.

Despite the economic downturn, the number of exhibitors is stable, according to Messe Munich. Klaus Dittrich, CEO of Messe Munich since 2010 and the successor to Manfred Wutzlhofer who retired after many years in this position, said: “The number of exhibitors is stable but the size of the stands has been decreasing, so 15 halls will be accessible, unlike the 16 of the last edition.”

In addition, the segmentation of the fair has changed slightly. The establishment of a Freeskier Hall in Hall A3, next to board_ispo, is new. Ispo reacted here to the growing segment of skiing as an action sport with freeskiing brands like Orage and Armada. Nike 6.0, Rusty and Lightning Bolt are new exhibitors at board_ispo.

Sportstyle_ispo and ispovision have also been modified and relocated. New exhibitors at ispovision include J. Lindeberg, Kjus, EvaW, Sigg and Cuun.

The home of outdoor_ispo is traditionally Halls A6, B6, and B5; the home fitness equipment manufacturers are in C1; and Sports Source Europe is taking up Halls C2 and C3. The halls are accessible via all entrances at the exhibition center, including the new North-West Entrance.

One of the main themes at ispo 2010 will be sustainability. Following its introduction in 2009, the Eco Responsibility Award has established itself as an important award for innovative products, alongside the ispo Outdoor Award, the ispo Boardsports Award, the European Ski Award and the BrandNew Award.

The winners in all categories were announced yesterday. Winners of the Eco responsibility Award (Textile) include the German brand PYUA for its Climate 2L Padded Man Jacket and Pants and Patagonia for its W´s R3 HiLoft Hoody.

Winners of the ispo Outdoor Award (Textile) are The North Face with the Men’s Kishtwar Jacket and the Swedish brand Klättermusen with its Bilskirner Jacket.

The winner of the BrandNew Award (eco/fair trade) is the German brand Monkee. The German brand ZKHT won the Style category. The overall winner this year is the Swiss running brand On Sports with its new running shoe technology.

—Regina Henkel