Fesi, the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry, approved the re-election of Luca Businaro as its new president for the next three years at its latest general assembly, which took place in Rome on Nov. 17-18. The Italian executive, who has already held the post since 2011, laid out a new “strategic plan” through 2019 at the meeting that calls for the development of three new work-streams: Services; Relations among federations; and Good governance and sports integrity.

As part of the new Services work-stream, Fesi intends to launch new European surveys and other studies in collaboration with national trade associations, European institutions and relevant partners such as Ispo. The French sporting goods industry association, Fifas, has particularly ambitious goals in this domain under its new management, especially after its merger with the French sporting goods retailers' federation, FPS.

Fesi has already convinced the European Commission to conduct a multi-faceted study of the sporting goods sector in Europe. At Fesi's general assembly, Fifas's general secretary, Virgile Caillet, called for the establishment of a European platform on sports market data.

Along with other new initiatives, the new market intelligence efforts are expected to improve the image of Fesi and its attractiveness for new members among suppliers, retailers, external partners, national associations and special groupings. Other new services due to be offered to members will be regular seminars and webinars and the development of business plans for commercial expansion.

Regarding the relations with other federations, Businaro wants Fesi to “streamline” its relationship with the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), which will elect a new president from the U.S. at its next general meeting in February. He is calling for greater collaboration among the national associations that belong to Fesi for the implementation of the European Structural and Investment Fund.

We have already mentioned Fesi's plans in the area of governance and sports integrity. The publication of a code of conduct and the development of training sessions and other support systems for the implementation of the standards is part of the related new work-stream.

Fesi will soon elect a new executive committee where its vice presidents will assume operational responsibility for each of the three new work-streams and the present ones. Fesi's ten working committees are confirmed.

Businaro said he wants Fesi to reach the highest possible political recognition, driving the promotion of physical activities and the members' growth across all channels. He wants to develop the economic innovative dimension of sport, getting it to be officially recognized as European industrial sector. He proposes to study the feasibility of a dedicated innovation fair in the framework of Epsi, the European platform for sport innovation.

Businaro, who is also an entrepreneur and the president of Assosport, the Italian sporting goods industry association, said he wants to reinforce Fesi's collaboration with neighboring or like-minded sectors to share resources and strengthen lobbying activities. It has already started to do that with the establishment of a House of Sport in Brussels, which now counts 20 partners, and its participation in the European Week of Sport. It wants to organize additional events.

Fesi represents the interests of 1,800 sporting goods manufacturers across Europe, and more than 70 percent of them are small and medium-sized enterprises. That includes British firms, in spite of the recent Brexit vote. Fesi's general assembly in Rome confirmed Jane Montgomery, secretary general of the U.K.'s Federation of Sports & Play Associations (FSPA), as a member of its board of directors.