Source: press office Montebelluna Sportsystem
The meeting was opened by Andrea Parisotto, President of the Shoe and Sport Footwear Museum Foundation, followed by greetings from Adalberto Bordin, Mayor of Montebelluna and Francesca Nieddu, Regional Director of Veneto East and Friuli-Venezia Giulia Intesa Sanpaolo. This was followed by the presentation of the Osservatorio Distretto Sportsystem by Anna Maria Moressa, Intesa Sanpaolo's Studies and Research Department, and Federico Callegari, Centro Studi Camera di Commercio Treviso-Belluno|Dolomiti.
Afterwards, a round table was held to give voice to the companies and institutions of the area, with the participation of Oscar Bernardi, president of Confartigianato Imprese Marca Trevigiana, Mario Pozza, president of the Chamber of Commerce Treviso-Belluno|Dolomiti, Alberto Zanatta, president of Tecnica Group and deputy president of Assindustria Venetocentro, Pierangelo Bressan, president of Garmont International and Sandro Parisotto, president of Calzaturificio Scarpa.
The Montebelluna Sports Footwear and Sportsystem district is the main industrial specialisation of the 17 municipalities in the area, with Montebelluna at the centre as a pole of attraction. 300 employees (in the 17 municipalities as of 2018), mostly in the manufacture of sports footwear for cycling, motorcycling, trekking and outdoor activities, and roller skates (60% of the employed), and sports goods, from bike and ski equipment, boots and après-ski to skis and snowboards.
There is a diversification of activities in the district that occupies the entire vertical production chain, ranging from fashion design and planning, plastic and wood parts for footwear, processing and moulding of special materials such as Kevlar, carbon and plastics to accessories and sportswear.
An analysis by Intesa Sanpaolo's Studies and Research Department of the district's subcontracting network (developed on the payments that pass through the bank) reveals a dense network of exchanges on the first stages of processing footwear and plastic, fabric and metal parts that are satisfied within the district (50% of supplies for the footwear sector and 80% for boots and sportswear).
It is often the case that companies produce under their own brand name and at the same time are also subcontractors of larger companies in the district: this specificity means that especially medium-sized companies (10-50 million) are able to find all the supplies they need within a radius of about 60 km (the average supply distance in Italian districts is 100 km). The possibility of maintaining frequent relations with other companies in the district is a strong point for the Montebelluna Sportsystem companies, not only in terms of possible commercial advantages but also, and above all, for the transmission of the innovation process; proof of this is the number of patents that make it the main Italian centre for innovation in sports footwear.
Thanks to the quality and innovation of its products, the district has made a name for itself on foreign markets both in the sports footwear sector (more than €1 billion in exports in 2019) and in the sporting goods sector (€306 million, accounting for 27% of all national exports of sporting goods).
The growth in exports was significant compared to 2007: +18% for footwear and +58% for sports goods. The main markets are France, Germany, the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom, which account for 50% of the district's total exports. For sports footwear in particular, the internationalisation strategy adopted even before 2008 was to outsource the more labour-intensive parts of production abroad, first to Eastern Europe and more recently to East Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar), and to keep the phases with the highest added value in the area, not just design and planning but above all R&D, developing a high number of patents over time. 67% of the footwear companies in the district have made investments abroad, and some countries such as Romania have become platforms not only for production but also for logistics towards eastern markets.
The production specialisations in the district, which concern outdoor, trekking and sports footwear and bike and ski equipment, from boots to skis and snowboards, were strongly affected by the impact of COVID in 2020, with trends in line with the Italian footwear sector, which lost almost a quarter of its turnover compared to 2019. In particular, the district's footwear exports closed 2020 with a 14% drop, while exports of boots and sporting goods, which account for just over a fifth of the total, reported a 17% decrease.
In the summer period there had been a real rebound for both Montebelluna sports footwear (-5% compared to the same period of the previous year) and the sporting goods sector (-8%), only to record a subsequent slowdown in the fourth quarter, due to restrictions on the mobility of people and the closure of ski resorts across Europe (-9% for sports footwear and -17% for sporting goods).
In the first half of 2021, the district recorded a good rebound in exports compared to the same period in 2020: footwear recorded +22% and sports articles +20%, while the bicycle sector (recently included in the Intesa Sanpaolo monitoring of the district) with +84.6% proved more dynamic. Precisely the induced activities of bicycles and accessories and parts, drove the exports of the Montebelluna district, which in the first half of 2021 reached a level of exports of 710 million euros, up 0.7% on the first half of 2019: bicycles reached about 96 million euros (+78% on 2019), approaching the 106 million euros exported by sports articles (-10% on 2019).
Sports footwear with 508 million euros represents the specialisation of the district with the greatest penetration on foreign markets: in the first half of 2021, thanks to strong growth in Poland, the United States, Russia and Serbia, they managed to balance the drop in sales in the United Kingdom, Spain and France, containing the decrease compared to 2019 to -4.7%.
The Sportsystem District is back in the game - comments President Andrea Parisotto with great pride - In this restart phase, we wanted to reactivate a fundamental tool of economic policy and planning such as OES (Sportsystem Economic Observatory), finding the full and decisive support of Intesa Sanpaolo and the Chamber of Commerce of Treviso-Belluno, through their study and research centres. The OES will become permanent on a six-monthly basis, where it will allow companies and above all public institutions to have a precise and punctual thermometer of the district's economic trend, thus being able to intervene in a timely and accurate manner to multiply the opportunities and mitigate the threats. We expect this to happen immediately, especially with reference to local administrations, which are in the front line with companies in creating opportunities and shared and widespread economic value for our territory.
As Chamber of Commerce we will be there and we will give our maximum contribution to the reactivation of this Observatory, which is functional in guiding the processes of change in the Sportsystem district and strengthening its national and international visibility - emphasises Mario Pozza, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Treviso - Belluno|Dolomites. - As of today, we are already making available an initial set of data from our chamber of commerce archives, which will be useful for a new territorial mapping of the district that takes into account the new supply chain interdependencies.
We also want to make the most of the entire entrepreneurial fabric, especially the smaller, artisan companies, which, especially at this time of recovery, may have difficulty in interpreting the evolution of the markets, but can play a fundamental role where a shorter, more responsive supply chain is needed. I share the spirit of President Andrea Parisotto, who proudly recalls the historic motto of the 'District that makes the world play'. We have all the ingredients to win this challenge: a solid public/private partnership, the projects already underway in view of Milan-Cortina 2026, the prestigious home of the Museo dello Scarpone, the best entrepreneurial excellences, the backing we are already doing with our Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad. All factors that converge in the same strategic vision and in a strong call for social responsibility towards the territory.
2021 is confirmed to be the year of restart for the Montebelluna Sportsystem district - comments Francesca Nieddu, Regional Director of Veneto East and Friuli Venezia Giulia Intesa Sanpaolo -. By combining and integrating a high level of quality, continuous innovative processes and traditional craftsmanship, the district's companies have achieved high levels of competitiveness on international markets, with recognised and sought-after brands. Intesa Sanpaolo wants to continue to support this excellence with solutions to further accelerate the evolution in terms of innovation and environmental sustainability of companies, which are fundamental requirements for growth.
Our concrete support, which is part of the broader plan to give support to investments linked to the PNNR, translates into dedicated products and services such as S Loan, which rewards the achievement of ESG objectives launched in July 2020, green bonds and financing from the €6 billion plafond dedicated to the circular economy, allocated in 2018. Since the launch of these activities, on a national level, Intesa Sanpaolo has provided a total of 1.6 billion euro in loans to support business investments in sustainability and circularity, of which over 110 million for 60 companies in the Triveneto region. The renewable energy front in the Triveneto is particularly dynamic, where in the last 10 years we have endorsed loans amounting to EUR 718 million.