Unveiling the Hidden Sports Capital of Germany

 - KölnBusiness


Cologne is the secret sports capital of Germany. Every year, the people of Cologne spend 500 million euros on exercise of all kinds. Numerous sports-related companies and institutions have set up shop here. A look at four particularly exciting companies.


True Motion Runs

Nike chaser, Adidas competitor, the next big thing: the running shoe company True Motion, founded in 2018, has already earned a lot of praise and admiration. The startup has earned its stellar reputation with its special spirit of innovation. Under the leadership of Gert-Peter Brüggemann, long-time head of the Institute for Biomechanics and Orthopaedics at the German Sport University in Cologne, True Motion has developed a modern running shoe that reduces knee pain by up to 50 per cent. The founders are not interested in marketing or investors. The company grows because customers recommend them – and it is a clear success. Having sold more than 180,000 pair of shoes, TrueMotion is profitable.


Prematch: Startup with star investors

There are many startups in Germany. But very few have such prominent supporters as Cologne-based Prematch. Since 2023, three world-famous football stars - Jürgen Klopp, Serge Gnabry and David Raum - have invested in Prematch. Founded in 2021, the startup won over investors with its idea of providing profiles for amateur footballers, creating a LinkedIn for amateur footballers. Prematch is likely to be one of the most promising sports startups in Germany.


DynMedia: Streaming sports

It was a real sensation. In 2022, Christian Seifert, the former head of the German Football League, announced he would set up a sports streaming service with the major German publishing group Axel Springer. Working on the platform for more than a year, Cologne-based Dyn started broadcasting in 2023. Since then, Dyn has streamed more than 1,000 sporting events and even made a name for itself among sports fans outside the billion-dollar football business. In early 2024, Dyn broadcasted the European Handball Championship – an extra boost for the company.


Handball and Basketball Bundesliga: Anything but football

Less than ten kilometres apart, Cologne is home to two German heavyweights in sports organisation. Located close to the river Rhine, the Basketball Bundesliga GmbH is based in Cologne-Mülheim. Adding to the small circle of official sports league organisers is Handball-Bundesliga GmbH. Both are in charge of keeping our stadiums full. It is not surprising that the two sports giants are based in Cologne: the city is considered a handball stronghold thanks to the LANXESS arena, and Cologne and Leverkusen clubs have long played an important role in basketball.

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