More than 100 people attended Forum Brasil, a conference organized by Ispo on the third day of its show this week. SGI Europe laid out some key facts and figures about the Brazilian sporting goods market, collected with Ispo's financial support. In summary, they show that the market is growing by 5 to 10 percent a year overall, and even more strongly in segments such as fitness and running.

The outdoor sector went through some difficult years, but it is enjoying a revival. Sales of outdoor products are estimated at about €500 million at retail, but the figure is boosted by a variety of duties and taxes that raise their prices well above the levels in the U.S., Argentina and Chile.

However, brands such as The North Face are doing very well in Brazil, catering to high-income individuals and families and covering other categories such as running.

The economy is booming and sport is in. With the strong growth of the middle class, per capita consumption of all kinds of sporting goods has reached a level that can be estimated at between €3.5 billion and €5.6 billion at retail, depending on the definition of the market. That means per capita spending of between €18 and €30 a year in the world's fifth-most-populous country.

Two Brazilian consultants, including one who helped to build up Oakley and Luxottica in the country, discussed some of the difficulties in doing business in Brazil, such as the high import duties and some 63 local taxes, but indicated that there also many tax incentives. Taxes may be deducted for local manufacturing, sports marketing and innovation. Better market knowledge, customized consultancies and partnerships with local manufacturers can help foreign brands penetrate the market.

The Adventure Sports Fair, due to be held in São Paulo in April, is registering growing interest from foreign brands in its consumer-oriented show as well as in its 3-year-old B2B section. The local sporting goods industry association, Abriesp, and Ispo are considering the organization of matchmaking sessions between foreign brands and potential local partners.