Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe, which translated means German Sports Aid Foundation, was founded in Berlin in 1967 and is currently headquartered in Frankfurt. The foundation represents approximately 4,000 elite German athletes, helping them with personal and career development in parallel to positioning them as role models in society. The foundation prioritizes fair play and sports integrity, and organizes a number of annual sporting events to generate income and bring together athletes, supporters, entrepreneurs, and sponsor partners for opportunities and growth.

Deutsche Sporthilfe’s CEO, Thomas Berlemann, was in his role for only two weeks when the COVID-19 pandemic shut Germany down in March 2020. Prior to that, Deutsche Sporthilfe’s business culture centered around in-person meetings, where the majority of work for their 50-person staff is driven by face-to-face relationships with athletes and partners.

A German team of men play football on a field
German footballers play in a match.

“Remote work was not common within our organization, and we all had to stay at home for at least six weeks,” Berlemann noted. “Although no one was in the office, all business had to continue, including conversations with multiple stakeholders about initiatives we were driving.” He explained this was “ … the catalyst for us to increase our digital footprint. We needed [a solution] that would allow us to shift our collaboration to a virtual setting, while retaining the spirit of our close-knit company culture.”

They found the solution to their need with Cisco. What better way to learn how Deutsche Sporthilfe is enhancing collaboration through digitization than to hear from CEO Thomas Berlemann in his own words. With technology at the center of their strategy, Deutsche Sporthilfe is delivering a higher level of service to athletes, sponsors, and fans throughout Germany.


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Ann Kelly

Communications Manager

Global Advocacy