Posted on Oct 5, 2021, 11:53 AM
“Membership applications are pouring in, from Switzerland and all over France,” says Patrick Giraudon, President of Outdoor Sports Valley (OSV) for 5 years. Founded in 2009, OSV is based in Annecy and brings together 504 players in the sports equipment industry. The cluster represents 6,000 jobs and a turnover of 6 billion euros. It has become the first “outdoor” network in Europe. A sign of its vitality, 450 participants attended its general assembly in Talloires last September.
Several points were on the agenda. Sustainable development, first of all: OSV, which has carried out its carbon footprint, wants to support member manufacturers (250) or service providers in their ecological transition. Continued support for digitization, then, with a showroom to make brands more accessible.
Also on the program, the promotion of sports practice in connection with the territories. OSV will create web-series with champions of disciplines, such as trail running or climbing to popularize practices and make people want to go for example “hiking in the Aravis or skiing in Grand Bornand”, details Patrick Giraudon. “We want to communicate on playful practices accessible to all,” he explains.
In addition, in the coming months, the cluster will set up “collaborative practice groups in innovation” to create new products. On this point, the cluster already has enormous success: like Jean-Luc Diard, former CEO of Salomon who acquired OSV in its early days and created within it Hoka One One, a nugget on the trail and running shoe. Or more recently the Vectiv shoes developed by The North Face which uses carbon fiber or the Samaya bivouac tents.
Without forgetting the project led by Salomon, Babolat and Millet, that of Chamatex shoes which has just inaugurated a factory in Ardèche and which is the archetype of what OSV wants to develop. “It is this type of collaboration that we are going to intensify in order to relocate production in France but to develop new materials which, from their conception, will make it possible to do so at acceptable costs, this is the industry of tomorrow”, explains the president of OSV.