The organizers of the Sports Unlimited trade show in Valencia were very pleased with the results in the third year of the event. The Spanish fair, which can best be described as a negotiating forum, aims to bring together vendors and retailers and to offer them an opportunity for better cooperation and intercommunication.

The show was enlarged to include the bike segment for the first time this year. Other segments, such as fitness, running, team sports and outdoor, were also presented by major brands in the Spanish market, although the outdoor segment apparently got some competition from the new Outdoor Week, being staged in Barcelona in these days for the first time.

The total number of exhibitors grew by 40 percent to 106 in total, compared with the second edition of the show one year ago. The number of brands represented directly or through distributors grew to approximately 500. Participants included brands such as Wilson, Suunto, Original Buff, Joma, Penalty, Regatta, X-Bionic, K-Swiss, Kettler and Kelme.

Big retail chains invited to visit the show included El Corte Inglés, Forum Sport and the Portuguese retail company SportZone, which entered the Spanish market in 2008.

The concept of the event is to invite the representatives of major retailers of outdoor, running, cycling and fitness products to the show and to arrange meetings with exhibitors. The event provides both parties with an opportunity to exchange ideas and strategies and to cooperate further in the future.

The organizers of Sports Unlimited, Reed Exhibitions, offered conferences on diverse subjects. All conferences were held at the end of each day of the fair, so that exhibitors and retailers were through with their previously arranged meetings for the day and had the chance to participate and discuss opportunities and threats in the Spanish sporting goods and outdoor sector.

The fair registered a total of 249 buyers this year, up from 163 last year. This year, Sports Unlimited arranged about 2,000 meetings between buyers and exhibitors, setting them up electronically before the event. Including visitors enjoying unrestricted access on the third day, the total number of professionals visiting the fair tripled compared with last year, reaching 615.

Companies and individuals were honored at the show for promoting better relations between vendors and retailers. The Spanish company Original Buff won a prize for the best global strategic initiative. Joma was awarded for being a traditional Spanish company that passed its business from generation to generation. Reebok won for the best point-of-sale campaign, helping retailers to enhance sales.

Asics won a prize in collaboration with Central Lechera Asturiana, the Spanish supplier of dairy products, for the promotion of sport. Both companies sponsored a running event for women that took place in eight major Spanish cities. Conrado González, the well-known and forceful purchasing manager for sporting goods at El Corte Inglés, was honored for his professional career.