Press Release WFSGI ISPO 2023

WFSGI rallies Sporting Goods Industry around new strategic plan, prioritises highest historical rate of physical inactivity

Physical inactivity has reached an alarming rate, with over a quarter of adults and more than 80% of youth insufficiently active


 Munich, GERMANY – 29 November 2023, 12:00 CET – The Swiss-based World Federation of Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) unveiled today at the ISPO sports trade fair in Munich, a new strategic plan to take on the highest historical rate of physical inactivity. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) more than 80% of adolescents and 28% of adults fail to meet its recommended levels of physical activity. Core to this new strategic plan, the WFSGI will work together with the WHO to implement their historic partnership and develop initiatives promoting physical activity. 


“The most recent physical inactivity figures are staggering. The WFSGI is committed to taking on the challenge of fostering a more physically active lifestyle,” said Emma Zwiebler, WFSGI Interim CEO. 

Emma Zwiebler, WFSGI Interim CEO

According to recent WHO data, insufficient physical activity is the 4th leading risk factor for death. WHO has calculated that if there is no action to reduce current inactivity levels, there will be 500 million additional cases of ill health caused by inactivity at a cost of USD 300 billion to global health care systems by 2030.


Since 1967, the WFSGI has united the global sporting goods industry ​around targeted actions to support healthier people and a more active planet​. With over 70% of the industry represented by its members, the organization has a powerful collective platform to build the partnerships and solutions to address pressing issues affecting people’s lives. ​​ The partnership with the WHO reinforces private sector support in increasing physical activity and community sport participation, with the aim of improving global health.


Speaking about the plan, Zwiebler added, “We are convinced that the partnership with the WHO can demonstrate that private sector collaborations can drive meaningful change for society and business. The risk of inaction is too high. We are reaching tipping points on many global issues – especially in terms of climate and health – and the sporting goods industry is committed to playing a role in finding solutions.”


Progress toward implementation of the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA) by countries is ‘slow and uneven’ and much more needs to be done. Speaking about how the WFSGI is seeking to tackle these issues, Zwiebler commented: “To ensure our industry is on track and behind a common agenda, we’re setting out a bold new 3-year vision that calls for greater public-private and cross industry collaboration to take on the toughest challenges. We are using the occasion of ISPO and our General Assembly to accelerate a conversation on priority areas.”


As such, the key priorities of the new WFSGI strategic plan include enabling sustainable business, influencing activity (from playground to podium), facilitating and promoting free and fair trade and supporting transition in a changing world.


This comes at a time when four new influential board members have joined the WFSGI: from the Americas Region Mehri Shadman, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Under Armour; and the following three Executive Committee members: Celine del Genes, Global Chief Customer Officer, Decathlon; Michael Hauge Sorensen, Group COO, Amer Sports Corporation; and Param Singh, Founder, Owner & CEO, Arklyz AG.


According to Andy Rubin, Deputy Chair Pentland Group, and Chair of the Board of the WFSGI, “At the conclusion of my first year as Chair of WFSGI, I’m delighted that we have been able to finalise our new Strategic Plan to 2025 and welcome a diverse set of industry leaders to the Board. We already have several significant achievements behind us in 2023 but we now move into the critical implementation phase of the Plan in 2024. We look forward to reporting next year on how we have united and supported the industry to ensure a healthier, more active planet for all.”



The WFSGI General Assembly is the highest decision-making body of WFSGI and meets annually at ISPO Munich, where there is an opportunity to connect with the leaders and key players of the sporting goods industry. At ISPO, WFSGI will carry out its Board and Committee meetings, which will discuss relevant information on the latest international developments within the sporting goods industry. 



The World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) is the global, not-for-profit trade association for the sporting goods industry. WFSGI is officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the industry representative within the Olympic Movement. 


Our members comprise sports and sports-inspired leisure brands, manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, national/regional federations, industry and trade associations. This represents approximately 70% of the global industry by annual turnover. 


The purpose of the WFSGI is to unite and support the global sporting goods industry, and ensure a healthier, more active planet for all. 

Media Contact:

Riccardo Parigi
Projects and Communications Manager
Tel.: +41 31 939 60 61