"Our House" emerged from Deutsche Sporthilfe in 2019. Sporthilfe has been supporting Olympic athletes for 55 years and preparing them for competitions and the Olympic Games. Lucas explains why this support exists in the first place:
"At the time, Sporthilfe was a counterbalance to the GDR state system, where professional athletes received good support. That didn't exist in the West. That's how Sporthilfe came about. It is a non-profit foundation. We support athletes because we believe that they act as role models, carrying positive values such as performance, fair play and cooperation into society and encouraging kids to play sport. In this way, they can have a positive influence on society. With a perfect lock-and-key principle, we manage to include the best Olympic athletes in the sponsorship program, provide them with financial and non-material support and thus offer them support to compensate for the hardships that also come with competitive sport."
As Sporthilfe is a foundation, it is largely financed by business partners, i.e. companies or individuals who want to support this work and its values and therefore make monthly or annual donations.
However, there has long been a trend in the sports scene away from the classic career path to becoming a top Olympic athlete. More and more athletes, especially in action sports, are making a name for themselves in their scene without a club and are becoming known through videos and short clips on social media. In 2019, "Our House" was founded as a new brand of Deutsche Sporthilfe in order to do justice to this development and also offer support and promotion to athletes who actively decide against an Olympic career. They focus on the sports of BMX, wakeboarding, parkour and skating in summer and free skiing and free snowboarding in winter. Lucas explains quite simply why a new brand was founded to promote action sports:
"We didn't want to run the risk of imposing an Olympic template on these subcultural athlete:ins and selecting them using the same mechanisms as we do with Olympic athlete:ins. Instead, we do this in a separate unit, with the "Our House" brand, where we talk to the athletes at eye level and try to select them based on values and not necessarily just on performance.
We then started to identify which athletes could be included in our support program. To do this, we identified experts in the scenes. They are former athletes who are incredibly knowledgeable and have a high level of credibility in the scene. We always have two experts per sport and we communicate our "Our House" set of values to them: respect, inspiration and performance. Respect means how much the athletes are respected by the scene, but also how respectfully they treat the scene. Inspiration describes how inspiring they are and how they affect others. How much do they contribute to the growth and development of a sport? And the third value, performance, is the Sporthilfe DNA. They have to be damn good at what they do to get into "Our House". Based on these three values, together with the two experts and an athlete representative, we considered which athletes would best suit "Our House" and these values."
Just like Deutsche Sporthilfe, "Our House" offers athletes financial and non-material support. The "Our House" support is naturally tailored to the needs of action athletes:
"In our sponsorship, the athletes receive €500-600 per month and insurance cover. Accident and international health insurance is incredibly valuable for action athletes. We try to keep their backs free so that they can simply concentrate more on the sport, continue to inspire and be a role model. Another focus of "Our House", which is different from the Olympics, is the trips and journeys we send the athletes on. They don't necessarily want to stand on the podium to win a medal, but to produce a creative video. When a video like that goes viral and receives recognition from the scene, that's Olympus. Last year, we went on a road trip through Europe in camper vans. All the athletes were able to take individual routes to southern Italy and then head for the best spots on the routes that they had always wanted to ride. This was all filmed, edited together and we put together videos for the athletes."
But what does this sports promotion have to do with KoRo? Like Sporthilfe, "Our House" is a non-profit foundation and only works through cooperation with business partners. And that's exactly what KoRo will be this year. Because we think the work that "Our House" does deserves our support. In doing so, we are also supporting the athletes and their passion. And at the same time, they can try our delicious products and become KoRo fans too. Last year, during the trip to southern Italy, KoRo provided the athletes with food in their camper vans to guarantee them a delicious trip. The athletes and KoRo fell in love and that's how the collaboration came about. This is because "Our House" attaches great importance to ensuring that the business partners match the athletes:
"We are always looking for business partners who fit very well into the reality of the athletes' lives so that we don't have to bend the athletes to show them in the context of some brand. This will work great for KoRo because they consume your food anyway and because this 'young, urban, hip' fits in well with KoRo."
We agree and are already looking forward to the upcoming collaboration. Stay tuned for cool projects that we'll get off the ground together. If you want to find out more about "Our House" and their work, check out their website.