Innovation and creativity clinic hosted by the Scandinavian Outdoor Group at ISPO 2018

At ISPO 2018 in Munich, the world’s largest multi-segment sports exhibition, the Scandinavian Village takes up a special place. The Village is the beating heart of the Scandinavian Outdoor Group (SOG), a not for profit organization providing export market support to more than 60 premium outdoor brands from all five Nordic countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland. The SOG is proud of its prowess in innovation and support of new members and was therefore keen to showcase this year’s new entrants through a dedicated “retail clinic” around the twin themes of innovation and creativity. We were hosted by the CEO of SOG, David Ekelund who made the introductions, beginning with Stefan Carlsson of technology brand INUHEAT Wearable Heating. Stefan explained that the goal of his company is to provide premium apparel brands with an App controlled technology platform combining patented conductive yarns and smart electronics to improve comfort in already great apparel such as gloves and socks for consumers and professionals. Next was the turn of development member ROJK SUPERWEAR where we met Jan-Fahrenheit Betros who heads design & product development for the young company’s sustainable and eco-friendly production. The products are made of self-developed, fully decomposable natural materials such as wool and hemp which achieve high standards of functionality through clever design and innovative weaving techniques. Before we moved on Jan proudly showed us the very attractive upcoming Badland Jacket which won the prestigious ISPO 2018 Eco Achievement Award. Right around the corner David then introduced us to Jo Egil Tobiassen, CEO & Founder of Northern Playground, also a development member of SOG. Jo, who is an accomplished sportsman, explained that he had invented his innovative “Zipware” because he and his friends were tired of damp and cold upper and lower base wear after strenuous outdoor pursuits. Jo then went on to personally demonstrate on himself items of his apparel line by unzipping shorts and even removing a women’s sports bra in the blink of an eye. The clever incorporation of zippers in Northern Playground’s apparel line truly delivers personalized climate control for the entire body, banishing sweaty and cold clothing once and for all. Finally, David and our group of visitors walked the short distance to the Scandinavian Outdoor Group’s partner, juggernaut vehicle manufacturer VOLVO CAR CORPORATION where we were welcomed enthusiastically by Stephan Green, Director of Commercial Management. Stephan quickly went on to explain that the gorgeous V90 Cross Country Volvo Ocean Race vehicle in front of us was inspired by the famous race of the same name and that it was designed to bring out the adventurer, big or small, in each one of us. All-road and all-weather capability with thoughtful features and accessories such as waterproof seat covers, foot mats, a tough water-resistant load compartment floor and storage bag help protect the interior from dirty kit and equipment. It even features a portable pressure spray cleaner to hose off dirty gear before stowing it. This elegant vehicle truly combines luxury with utility. Our tour now concluded we wished David well and now look forward to the next ISPO in 2019.

ISPO München is a sustaining member and SOG is a trade partner of the not for profit European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) which counts more than 130 members throughout Europe and believes that “The outdoor sector and the millions of people who enjoy the outdoors are active champions for the conservation of nature and wild places”. As a charitable association the EOCA directly funds specific projects to emphasize the European outdoor industry’s commitment to having a beneficial impact on the environment.

February 3rd, 2018                                                                                                   John Dodds

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