Boost trends and innovation for the sporting goods industry

Munich – Germany, Jan 25, 2014: Frank A. Dassler will navigate the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) for the next coming three years. The 57-year-old German was unanimously elected by the WFSGI General Assembly in Munich. Frank A. Dassler follows Motoi Oyama (Japan), who served as President of WFSGI from 2011 – 2014. Dassler is the second WFSGI president from Germany after his father Armin Dassler (1986 – 1989). Frank A. Dassler is the eldest representative of the third generation succeeding Adolf and Rudolf Dassler, the founders of adidas and Puma.

Dassler who served in several functions within Puma and who is now General Counsel of the adidas Group says: “I am very proud and honoured to have been appointed the 14th president of the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry and to step into my fathers footsteps in the spirit of his quest for Free and Fair Trade. I look forward to resolve challenges confronting us on a global level and to boost trends and innovation for our industry and I am excited to work closely with the new Board and the WFSGI staff”, Frank Dassler resumed.

The WFSGI Board approved its strategic direction for 2014-2017 in its meeting in Munich on January 24, 2014. The most important points are as follows:

Free World Trade and free access to the markets emarkable India

It is the WFSGI’s objective to promote free and fair transactions in the globalized marketplace. “Free World Trade and free access to the markets build the two main pillars for our industry and brands”, says the new President. “Therefore we are content with the real multi-lateral agreement accomplished at the WTO–ministerial conference recently in Bali. This historical agreement on trade facilitation is to be welcomed as it will generate quicker and simpler border procedures for the benefits of our globally operating industry-members. The results of the Ministerial in Bali also open the door for further progress in the WTO and will drive forth the undistorted access to markets objectives.”

WFSGI to serve Asian members and manufacturers through local presence

The WFSGI together with major manufacturers and brands have identified the importance around the future of manufacturing and its implications on business processes, people, the environment and society as an important subject for the entire sporting goods industry’s future activity. To acquire the necessary insight in this complex subject the WFSGI exchanged thoughts and point of views with leading academics and experts in the field of “future manufacturing”. In order to make this expertise available to the broader industry, the WFSGI organised a new WFSGI Manufacturers Forum titled– «The Future of Manufacturing» in Taipei, Taiwan early December 2013. The event builds the basis for further activities coordinated under the umbrella of the WFSGI focusing on «Issues around Manufacturing» for apparel, equipment and footwear manufacturers. Since the WFSGI expects the manufacturing of sporting goods to change dramatically in the next decade, it will organise sequel events and will continue to debate “Lean”, the reduction of energy costs and labour intensive production, industrial sustainability and last but not least aligning design to manufacturing. Dassler says: “we want to boost innovation and trends of the future that affect our industry. The integration of electronic devices in sporting goods and the linking of equipment with information and communication technology will further affect the future of the sport. I expect ‘Digital Sports’ to open up absolutely new possibilities and new business models. We will see a transformation from ‘product accompanying services’ to ‘service accompanying products’. I recommend manufacturers and retailers to work more closely together and to break fresh ground with new industry partners.” The WFSGI will take a big step forward in supporting its members with the planned opening of an Asia office, operating internationally and to serve national federations and Asian members in the near future.

The WFSGI as “engagement hub”

By sharing relevant developments and best practices via CSR Heads-up News and joint events, the WFSGI discharges and further strengthens its task as a CSR best practice directory for all members. The WFSGI is developing and facilitating tailored programs for certain sport categories managing CSR programs in their supply chains. A first pilot project has been elaborated for and together with the bicycle industry. It is the WFSGI’s goal to facilitating processes to develop good CSR standards for top sports events such as the Olympic Games together with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Football World Cup engagement with FIFA. “The WFSGI should be developed into an “engagement hub” in which brands, suppliers and retailers can elaborate on industry developments such as end-to-end thinking and acting”, states Dassler.

New Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the IOC

During a recent meeting between the WFSGI and the IOC’s President Dr. Thomas Bach it was agreed to elaborate a new MoU between the IOC and the WFSGI until the end of this year. The WFSGI will be assigned new roles and responsibilities: there will be further collaboration in various IOC committees such as physical activity and sport as well as sustainability. IOC’s Rule 40 dealing with Olympic Games advertisement regulations and Rule 50 comprising the guidelines on Authorized Identifications at Olympic Games shall be revised.

Tackle online counterfeit and brand abuse

In order to actively oppose and stop the continuing growing phenomenon of Online Counterfeits, the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry – in close cooperation with the specialized company Convey Srl ( – launched a project to efficiently and proactively combat Internet-related counterfeit offerings and brand abuses encountered by WFSGI members and committed by third parties. The World Sports Forum organised by the WFSGI presented expert speakers from the field of IPR who showed that online counterfeit products represent not only a severe threat for the health and safety of the consumer but also a huge loss of image, goodwill and business for the sporting goods industry. The WFSGI will elaborate to extend the project to other sporting goods sectors.

Motivate children at a very early stage to do sports and physical activity

Finally the WFSGI needs to continue to fulfil its task in the continuous promotion of global physical activity. “Our industry should do the utmost to promote a healthy active living as every person being physical active is a current and future consumer of our products. According to thorough studies, we need to start motivate children at a very early stage to do sports and physical activity needs to be included as an integral part in our life”, concludes Dassler. That is why the WFSGI is very proud of its close collaboration with the United Nations and was very honoured to welcome Mr. Wilfried Lemke, UN Special Advisor on Sport for Development and Peace to the World Sports Forum. He presented sport as a tool for development and peace.

Above all, the WFSGI will continue to contribute the services towards its members: trade show discounts for ISPO and TaiSpo, free advertisments onGlobalSportsJobs and minutes and confidential background information in the members area on the WFSGI website and members only newsletter. —- WFSGI

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