Amer Sports’ strategy emphasizes excellence in consumer-centric brand experience and product creation. Through continuous research and development, Amer Sports seeks to develop new and better sporting goods, services and experiences that appeal to both consumers and trade customers.
In 2018, the Group accelerated the widespread integration of its new consumer-driven innovation model and design process which drives best practices and cross-learning across the brands. The renewal of Amer Sports R&D and creative processes concentrates on exploring unmet consumer needs as well as elevates the design capabilities to meet changing and growing consumer demands.
In 2018, several exciting consumer concepts were launched, including innovative solutions in Winter Sports Equipment from Atomic and Salomon, new consumer segment product expansions at Suunto, and new design evolutions in footwear and apparel focusing on emerging consumer trends and global market shifts.
The Group has seven R&D and design sites serving the business areas globally. In 2018, R&D expenses excl. IAC were EUR 95.0 million, accounting for 9.5% of all operating expenses (2017: 92.7; 9.7% of operating expenses; 2016: 95.2; 9.5%). Outdoor accounted for 72% of the R&D expenditure, Ball Sports for 15% and Fitness for 13%.
On December 31, 2018, 823 persons were employed in the company’s R&D and digital platforms development, representing approximately 9% of the total number of people employed by Amer Sports (2017: 794; 9%).