Sports that are very popular to China right now include Soccer and Basketball (see also China Youth Culture Study ’05). Really, basketball is very huge now because of many reasons including Lao Ming, the popular Chinese NBA player, and people’s fascination with the American NBA. Skiing, while getting more popular, is very expensive to participate in for most people in China, especially for people who don’t live nearby the snow areas (which are mostly in the northern areas around Beijing). This may be a good sport for the future, however. Skateboarding has a great deal of potential and is easier for people to participate in, but the sport itself is still not very popular and certainly not as popular as the fashion of skateboarding. There were a lot of “skateboarders” walking around the exhibition, dressing in skateboarding fashion which you can see makes them look very different. In the outdoor exhibition area, there were mostly Chinese skateboarders and a few foreigners. But you can not see many people skateboarding yet in Shanghai these days (see also Action Sports results of China Youth Culture Study).
Camping is another popular sport for the Chinese and hiking has always been popular for all ages. People will spend big money to wear expensive hiking clothes and shoes if it has a good brand name. But again, this is small amount of people who can pay these prices.
While the trade show was good and very professional, at this time in its beginning phase it looked like the companies paid big money for the exhibition but they get a small result in terms of attendees: Many of the large booths were simply empty of people and the show generally was not very big. Many local people and Chinese companies said there is a bigger sports show in Shanghai in June, which has all kinds of sports and brands--which even Nike joins.
Thursday of ISPO China was opened to the public which is a tradition in China. This was by far the most popular day, with 20,000 local people coming by to check it out. Overall ISPO China was good for the first time, but clearly still has a way to go towards working with the Chinese markets.
Some notable companies exhibiting at ISPO China:
-One of the few American skateboarding company’s exhibiting was Alien Workshop; other brands decided to pool resources and showcased in one small booth. There were also some small Chinese manufacturing skateboarding companies.
-There are many helmet companies, which was interesting, but mostly for skiing rather than cycling. Boeri was one of them.
-Salomon showcased skiing and snowboarding clothing
-Tecnica showcased shoes and ski boots
- Nordica showcased ski boots and also a skateboard company Killer Loop, and
Nitro the snowboarding brand
-Head showcased tennis rackets, sport shoes, snowboard shoes, and ski clothes
-Atomic showcased skis, helmets, snowboard, and snowboard boot, snowboard binding
-The North Face showcased ski clothing, camping gear and sleeping bags, and hiking shows
-Dainesse—a ski-pad company for ski racing
-Alpine Stars: This company from Italy for the motorcycle and motocross riders was among the only ones in this category
Sport Support Company:
-Mueller showcased ankle supports for playing sports, along with many other smaller companies
-Quicksilver and Roxy, American brands, showcased clothing for surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding. Roxy their girl’s line
-Ripcurl showcased their surf clothing
-Kappa showcased boardsports fashion for guys and girls
-Chiemesee showcased surfing, windsurfing, and snowboarding clothing
-Killy showcase their ski clothing
-Merrel the outdoor shoe company, showcased hiking boots and some fashionable shoes for every-day
- Lowa showcased their hiking boots
-The North Face and Salomon as mentioned previously, also showcased hiking boots
-Burton showcased many things for snowboarding including boots, snowboards and clothing (some Chinese did not know that Burton does not produce skis)
-Atomic showcased snowboards, boots, and bindings
-Nitro showcased snowboard, boots, and bindings
-Salomon showcased snowboard boots and bindings
-Nivit, one of the few Chinese brands in snowboarding, showcased their snowboarding clothing (they also hosted a hip-hop party on the clothing night of the show)
-Nidecker showcased snowboards, boots and bindings