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30 January 2024

'Sporting Goods 2024: Time to Move' report from the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) and McKinsey focuses on AI, sustainability, growing interest from 40-plus, physical inactivity,...

The report 'Sporting Goods 2024: Time to Move' by the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) and the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company was released online today at The 68-page report provides a global picture of the sporting goods industry and consumers like their interests in sports, generational shifts to older consumers, etc., with expert quotes such as by John Sullivan, senior vice president of marketing for the wearable technology company WHOOP, who is quoted in the report: "Health and fitness are increasingly associated with longevity, attracting more interest from the 40-plus demographic. This group is technologically adept and reachable, unlike previous generations at this age."

Technology is one of the central aspects of the research on the current state and future prospects of the industry, as well as consumer behavior and expectations. AI, in particular, is the subject of an interview with Alexander Sukharevsky, Global Leader QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey, who sheds light on both sides - the consumer and the sporting goods manufacturer. He answers questions such as how apps and virtual coaching will benefit in the future by pointing out, for example, that the personalization capabilities of AI can better adapt training routines to individual needs with less effort for the user. Asked to provide guidance for companies just starting their AI journey, Alexander Sukharevsky draws on his extensive insight into businesses, citing various areas where AI can make improvements - from logistics, to top management, to pricing, to forecasting. "This includes everything from customer care to inventory management and encouraging customer participation in product creation."

The report emphasizes the need to address global physical inactivity, citing statistical evidence such as Eurobarometer data that reveals, for example, that 45 percent of Europeans never exercise or play sports. In terms of trends, the report notes that there has been a notable development in recent times, indicating a shift in the choice of sports and wellness activities. According to 'Sporting Goods 2024: Time to Move," more people are opting for sports that are easier to learn, require less commitment and offer a more social experience, as opposed to organized sports with fixed time commitments, team requirements or high skill levels.

In the appendix of the report, on pages 62 to 65, a list of possible sustainability initiatives is presented, covering various categories, from communication, such as product labeling to increase transparency, or raising consumer awareness through social media, etc., to logistics, such as minimizing business travel or reducing the number of shipments with, for example, 'no-rush' shipments, or tips for adapting the product life cycle, such as increasing the number of products that can be repaired, reused, or remanufactured. In total, 10 categories have been collected on the checklist as a guide to a greener business.

Image: was inspired by the outlook of the report 'Sporting Goods 2024: Time to Move,' and used AI to create the futuristic picture of a woman exercising with a hologram of a trainer demonstrating the steps. The image was created with Microsoft Bing, Image Creator from Designer, powered by DALL-E 3 on January 30, 2024.

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