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More than 50 Sports Industry Start-ups Worldwide Compete for Spot at SFIA 'Start-Up Challenge'

Date: 6/27/16

SFIA announces close of application process for inaugural competition with unprecedented amount of entries from entrepreneurs around the world
Silver Spring, MD, June 27, 2016 – The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) announces today the close of applications and release of judges for its 2016 SFIA Start-Up Challenge. The competition takes place this fall at the 2016 SFIA Industry Leadership Summit (ILS) in Denver. ILS brings C-level executives from across the sports & fitness industry together to examine an assortment of issues surrounding their businesses and the economy.
Throughout the past two months, 55 up-and-coming companies, which are located everywhere from Miami and Canada to Australia and Brazil applied to win 10 minutes of stage time to pitch their ideas to industry executives, C-Suite attendees and SFIA’s Board of Directors at ILS. The applicants are involved in verticals including wearable technology, sports medicine, sporting goods products and sports management software.

“The fact that CEOs from all over the globe are competing to be one of the five final contestants is nothing short of remarkable – especially with this being the first SFIA Start-Up Challenge,” said John Peters, SFIA Senior Director of Business Development. “SFIA continues to do everything it can to facilitate the growth of start-ups and create opportunities that will change the future of the sports and fitness industry. We’re honored to provide these start-ups the platform to showcase innovation in front of these industry-leading executives.”

The final lineup of judges for the challenge include:
•    Brian Anderson, Entrepreneur, Angel Investor
•    Tony Armand, CEO of United Sports Brands
•    Dan Arment, President of Riddell
•    Chris Clawson, President of Life Fitness
•    Adam Franklin, Vice President of Franklin Sports
•    Steve Griffin, Founder of G5 Capital
•    Catriona Harris, Co-Founder of Uproar PR
•    Jonathan Ram, Executive Vice President of New Balance
•    Amir Rosenthal, CFO of Performance Sports Group
•    Michael Savage, CEO of Empower Fitness
•    Glenn Silbert, SVP of Under Armour
•    Mike Zlaket, President & CEO of Rawlings Sporting Goods
•    Bob Puccini, President of Mizuno USA
•    Jim Weber, CEO of Brooks Running

“The fact that we received so many applications from various countries is a great indicator that innovation is alive and well in our industry,” added Peters. “Based on the interest from these entrepreneurs, it’s clear the industry recognizes ILS as one of the top sports conferences for executives to network, tackle common business issues together, and develop meaningful relationships.”
The five finalists, which will be announced on July 18, receive publicity leading up to the event, recognition on stage during the annual ILS Awards Ceremony and real-time feedback from investors. The winner receives a spotlight in the ‘SFIA Insider Blog,’ additional exposure through SFIA’s marketing channels and a winner’s plaque. In addition, the winner will receive one year of SFIA membership and a public relations campaign from Uproar PR, an award-winning international firm specializing in sports and fitness companies.

The 2016 ILS will be held on September 14-15, 2016 at the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa in downtown Denver. The list of attending companies includes, Adidas, Life Fitness, Mizuno, Nike, Speedo, Under Armour and many more. 

Registration is limited to the first 200 executives. Register here: www.sfia.org/ilsregister

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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