July 17, 02003—The demand for much-needed action sports research was made apparent with the impressive turnout of those who attended the 1st annual European Boardsports Retailer Study Presentation at ispo trade show in Munich, Germany, June 29-July, 1, 2003. Presented by Label Networks and Boardsports ‘Source’ magazine, in co-operation with ispo, a diverse group of manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and media from various European countries attended the daily seminar, which was based on topline findings from the first annual European Boardsports Retailer Study 2003.

Manufacturers in attendance included Billabong’s European General Manager Stéphane Weinhold, and 3 of his senior management, European Marketing Manager from Vans, Peter Dericks, the founders of Nikita, Heida Birgisdottir and Runar Omarsson, Strategic Brand Manager from O’Neill, Norbert Pollemans, Westbeach President, Micky McDonald, President of Rusty Europe, Chris Kypriotis, VP of Sales and Marketing from DaKine, Pat Frodel, plus other senior representatives from Salomon, Globe, adidas, K2, Völkel, GenX, Smith, and many others. Retailers including chains such as Titus and Sport-Scheck, and many smaller shops, mixed with media ranging from Transworld Surf Business, Transworld Skateboarding Business, SAZ, Sporting Goods Intelligence, Le Journal du Textile, Surf Magazine, and Adrenaline Magazine, among others.

In an effort to share fresh data vital to the boardsports industry, the 1-hour presentation outlined leading brands, new markets, dying markets, volume of sales, key influences, customer profiles, internet usage, trends, and projected growth opportunities from a pan-European perspective, by sport, and in some cases, by country. The European Boardsports Retailer Study is the first of its kind to provide the industries of snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing with a key business tool for making successful strategies.

Questions following each day’s presentation were broad, lasting often for up to a half hour. “There’s definitely an education curve for some businesses that we’re dealing with in the European boardsports industry, says presenter and Vice President of Label Networks, Kathleen Gasperini, “such as understanding how research is conducted, how to use it no matter what sized business you are, and the incredible value it provides. But the idea is catching on fast and people appreciated it.

Other questions included predictions and influences from other markets and countries. The presentation also emphasized the crossover influences of other action sports and the influences of mainstream youth culture on boardsports as the industry grows, particularly the influence of music and urban culture on action sports, fashion, and lifestyle.

“The landscape is changing and the (action sports) boundaries are being re-defined, continued Gasperini in the presentation. “It’s important to know the state of the industry, in each country, where these influences are coming from, and where the market’s headed.

Those interested in purchasing the European Boardsports Retailer Study may contact Label Networks at info@labelnetworks.com; www.labelnetworks.com; +310-745-3005 or Boardsports ‘Source’ Magazine; garry@boardsportsource.com; www.boardsportsource.com.