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FESI flashback 2016 - a Year in Review

Monday, 16 January, 2017

Brussels, BELGIUM

FESI flashback 2016 - a Year in Review



Reflecting upon the successes of the past year, the Federation is ready to kick-start the New Year.

Brussels, Belgium - 16 January 2017   Looking back at 2016, FESI embarked on a successful journey in which it optimised its cross-sectoral engine and successfully brought the sporting goods industry into the limelight on several occasions. By being proactively engaged with policy makers in a plethora of fields, the Federation continuously pushed the economical, physical and social dimension of sports on the political agenda and made sure that “sports policy matters”.

Throughout 2016, FESI fought vigorously against the online sale of counterfeits and promoted consumer safety online by collaborating successfully with a number of players:  alongside the European Commission and a number of online platforms including AmazonAlibaba and Allegro, FESI signed a Memorandum of Understanding.  In the run up to the 2016 UEFA Cup it also launched a Public Awareness Campaign on social media with EUIPO and convinced EUROPOL, to launch “COPYCAT” – an operation targeting counterfeit sporting goods.

Going the extra mile with its multi-partner strategy, FESI recently also tied hands with UEFA by organising a round table at their Nyon headquarters’ during which it assessed the revision of UEFA Kit Regulations and explored the possibilities of upscaling their regulatory process.  In the field of sustainability, FESI aligned itself with several major European trade associations and convinced the European Commission to drastically shorten their CMR fast track procedure, which significantly shortened the list of unharmful chemical substances. Beyond that, the Federation also continued its formal cooperation with FIS to bring children back to the snow. The World Snow Day initiative which was joined by a large number of FESI brands was yet again a great success, with a participation rate of 586.000 enthusiasts. Additionally, FESI successfully organised its first European Winter Summit, a large-scale platform aimed at combating the overall decline of winter sports participation in Europe.

Furthermore, in its quest to boost economic and policy knowledge of the sporting goods industry and sport-related industries, FESI also strongly campaigned for the acknowledgment of sports and physical activity as a driver for both human and economic health. In this context, it successfully convinced the Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs to launch a specific study on the economic dimension of sports. As an official member of the European Week of Sport, the Federation also raised awareness on the multidimensional aspect of the sport sector during a Conference that it co-organised with the City of Brussels in the framework of the House of Sport.

FESI further underlined the broad (economic) scope of the sporting goods sector and continuously advocated for the inclusion of sports in various domains. Through EPSI (European Platform for Sport Innovation) -  the sports industry  explored  possibilities for strengthening economic ties with non-EU countries such as Iran and promoted the  internationalisation of SMEs in the framework of the EU4Sports Clusters Alliance.  In a similar context, it also launched the Guide on EU funding 2014-2020which outlines the main EU funding programmes for enterprises in the sporting goods industry and related sectors and released the Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA).
Striving for an ever growing network, FESI also witnessed an exponential growth of members by welcoming the following brands aboard: Armada SkisMichael Murphy SportBlack Crows,Skechers and Stöckli.  Having finished 2016 on a positive note, the Federation is now inaugurating the new year with its annual CEO meeting on the 7th of February at the ISPO Fair in Munich, Germany.  Yet again, FESI will be uniting several key players from some of the largest global sports brands with high level EC officials including Ms Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry Entrepreneurship and SMEs. Together, these parties are setting the tone for 2017.

As a prelude to the upcoming year, FESI Secretary General (Alberto Bichi) comments:  “With the objective of strengthening the position and profile of the European Sporting Goods Community I am looking forward to another victorious year, in which we will continue to expand our network, drive the promotion of sports, endorse physical activity and further push sports policy onto the European political agenda".