Promoting Sports & Fitness
Participation and Industry Vitality

SFIA Products and Services

2015 SFIA Industry Leaders Summit Delivers Compelling Content and Dynamic Networking to Sports & Fitness Executives

Date: 9/15/15

SILVER SPRING, MD – September 15, 2015 – Under the theme of “Relentlessly Relevant”, every attendee gained something from the speakers that took the stage at the 2015 SFIA Industry Leaders Summit held September 9-10 in New Orleans. Presentation topics ranged from the challenges facing youth sports to the examination and incorporation of the customer voice into the innovation lifecycle.  

Highlights of the event included the candid insights on the declining rates of youth sports participation in the United States by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Dr. James Andrews, and Olympian Jennie Finch focusing on specialization, overuse injuries, excessive competition, and “pay to play” trends.

MSNBC political analyst Steve Schmidt headlined the annual recognition dinner with an informative and entertaining talk on the current political landscape and implications the future presidential elections will have on the industry.

Additional program speakers included futurist, trends and innovation expert, Jim Carroll, whom explored the rapid change of business caused through technology. Carroll emphasized that business leaders must constantly look ahead to adapt to the needs of the digitally advanced generations. “A lot of us don’t like change,” said Carroll. “The next generation is fundamentally different and embraces change.”

Matt Laukaitis, Managing Director, Retail U.S., SAP North America, deliberated on the ability for retailers and brands to create personal brand relationships through the incorporation of the customer’s voice. Laukaitis stressed the importance of being “relevant to that person in the right time and right context to help them in their journey with your brand.”

Sarah Robb O’Hagan the president of Equinox focused on the evolving trend of healthy living and how companies across different industries are working to capitalize on this ever growing health conscious mentality. Robb O’Hagan noted the importance of properly communicating the usage and significance of collected data to the consumer. “We’re data rich but, knowledge poor. No one’s connecting the dots”, she said.

Steven Hill, the vice chairman strategic investments for KPMG LLP, adeptly explored business transformation and what innovative systems are needed for sustainable business growth and relevance. “The capability to best understand and adapt to market and or customer changes requires an evolution of corporate governance,” stated Hill.

“This is my first time at the event and I’m ecstatic that the event is talking not just about the pinnacle athlete but the future of youth sports, the future of the industry and looking forward more than looking at today,” said Ron Stoupa, Chief Marketing Officer & Executive Vice President of Sports Authority, Inc. “It’s been more than worth my time for the information and thought provoking ideas I’ve gotten coming to this Summit.”

Jason Goger, President of STX LLC, had this to say about ILS: “The real power of this conference in my opinion is the networking that happens at almost every turn. You are meeting truly the industry’s top leaders and making immediate connections on a level that is almost unheard of in any other sort of conference I’ve attended.”

During the Summit, SFIA also recognized the winners of the 2015 Future Industry Leaders Scholarship Program including Nathan Adelman (Callaway Golf), Ed Kane (RAGE Fitness), Chuck Rodrigues (SKLZ), Richelle Smith (Champro Sports), and Aretha Thurmond (USA Track & Field).  

The date and location of the 2016 SFIA Industry Leaders Summit will be announced later this fall and related information will be made available at www.sfia.org/ils.

ABOUT SFIA:  The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs, and member services. For more information, please visit www.sfia.org.

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