The electric bike was patented back in 1895, but it is only in the last 15 years that the market has really taken off. Switzerland saw a jump in sales in 2018 and e-bike manufacturers predict that level of growth will continue, says Andy Kessler, CEO of Flyer.
There used to be around 40 exclusive golf clubs in Switzerland that were considered too high-brow and unapproachable, but the market has since changed radically, says Keith Marriott, president of the Swiss Professional Golfers Association. From raising young Swiss golf champions to doing business on the golf course, the scene has become much more diverse and affordable, as he explains to Matt Leighton.
Switzerland has a rich past in horse riding, with a history of freely-available horses and access to stables, not to mention Swiss Olympic equestrian champion Steve Guerdat. But the sport can be pricey. Alban Poudret, editor-in-chief of Le Cavalier Romand, says that while CHF 20,000 won’t buy you a sport horse, it can certainly “buy you a good friend.”
Since it was announced that sport climbing will make its debut on the Olympic program in Tokyo 2020, its popularity in Switzerland has taken on another dimension. The easy proximity to mountains has always made it easy to climb, but now even indoor climbing has had a major boost. Hanspeter Sigrist, head of sport climbing at the Swiss Alpine Club in Bern, talks about qualifying at next year’s Olympics and the real dream: to host the 2023 Climbing World Championships in Bern.
Despite being a landlocked country, Switzerland has the second highest number of sailors per capita after New Zealand. Bernard Schopfer, organizer of the Yacht Racing Forum, takes Matt Leighton through the country’s long tradition of sailing and explains how easy it is to join the Swiss sailing community.
After making its debut in Switzerland 10 years ago, the stand-up paddle market is thriving, and Cédric Reynard, founder of Geneva-based Water Walk, is capitalizing on this booming trend. The next big push, he says, will be destinations with guides for mass stand-up paddle tourism.
Lausanne-based Advanced Sport Instruments is another example of the region’s expanding sports ecosystem. The company is placing big bets on its electronic performance and tracking systems for athletes. CEO Marie Ivorra Grosse says they’re already tapping into FIFA and sees a potential target of as many as 200 million athletes all over the world for their products.
Threat or opportunity? Vincent Gaillard, CEO of European Professional Club Rugby, talks about the “radical changes” that private funding is bringing to Europe’s sports landscape. Both event and broadcast organizations are at a tipping point, he says.
Building a new Olympic House that was both sustainable and iconic was no small task for the IOC’s director of corporate development, brand and sustainability, Marie Sallois-Dembreville. Ahead of its opening to the public on June 22, we look at the new IOC home in Lausanne—and the immense six-year project behind taking it down and building it back up.
Anne-Cécile Turner is dedicated to sustainability in sports, despite being told 20 years ago that it’s “just a fad, so don’t bother.” The founder of Blueshift, a Lausanne-based sustainability consultancy, reinforces brand value for events like The Ocean Race by working with them to combat pollution and climate change and create a “movement beyond sports.”
Insurance for major sporting events has been around for decades, but risk management is a relatively new concept. Doing the right kind of analysis prior to events can save millions of dollars. Patrick Vajda, who has more than 40 years of experience in the business of sports, talks about mitigating risks for the world’s athletes and events.
With more than 100,000 golfers in Switzerland, the sport here is in full swing despite slowing down since its mid-1990s' boom. But is the current golf business model sustainable? Ian Gibbons, president of the Association of Swiss Golf Managers, talks about how courses keep money flowing in by thinking beyond golf.