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The history of Sport-Thieme


Do it yourself!

Sport-Thieme’s success story begins 68 years ago as a one-man band in a small attic: annoyed about the slow delivery of sports equipment he has ordered, carpenter Karl-Heinz Thieme begins to put his ideas for products into practice himself. Today, the warehouse alone is 500 times larger than the attic where it all began.

Karl-Heinz Thieme


Allow us to introduce ourselves

One year after founding Sport-Thieme, Karl-Heinz Thieme publishes the first brochure.

1. Sport-Thieme Werbeblatt


Space is getting tight

By now, the one-man band has become a successful company with eight employees – wife Erika Thieme also actively helps out. The apartment is an office, warehouse and a family home in one and is bursting at the seams. There’s only one thing that can help: building!

Sport-Thieme 1958


From living room to workshops

New warehouse facilities are built 300 m away from the former family home. Incidentally, the original buildings still exist today: what was once the living room is now one of the conference rooms; the original postal dispatch area now serves as a canteen. Annual turnover surpasses the 1-million DM barrier for the first time.

Sport-Thieme 1959


We´re a KG!

The individual company Sport-Thieme becomes a KG, a limited partnership under German law. Company founder, Karl-Heinz Thieme, is the personally liable partner, whilst his wife Erika Thieme is a limited partner. In 1966, their son Hans-Rudolf Thieme becomes a limited partner.


There´s a system to it now

The number of products available increases steadily, new warehouse space needs to be found time and again. To keep a clear overview and to be even more customer-oriented in the future, Sport-Thieme introduces a product code system for the first time in 1962.

Sport-Thieme 1962: Neue Lagerräume


Our own workshops

After working in rented workshops until now, the carpenters, metalworkers and painters finally move to their own premises. A major advantage is that, from now on, collaboration can be even closer and more effective.

Sport-Thieme 1963: Die neue Werkstatt


All under one roof

A warehouse measuring 6,000 m2 is rented from the federal property office, meaning the small, scattered warehouses can be abandoned. The number of employees has increased almost fivefold: by now, 40 people work together at Sport-Thieme.

Sport-Thieme Baustelle 1971


A new member in the family company

Dr Hans-Rudolf Thieme becomes actively involved in the company and establishes IT in product management. From now on, invoicing, statistics and advertising management are done electronically.

Familie Thieme 1979


Wind of change in advertising

The launch of a new catalogue and advertising concept as well as Dr Hans-Rudolf Thieme joining the Executive Management are milestones.

Sport-Thieme: Kataloge 1983


More flexibility for staff

Working at Sport-Thieme should be fun – that has been important to the Thieme family from the very beginning. To promote a work-life balance, they introduce a flexitime system in 1985.

Sport-Thieme Team 1985


On to new shores

Breaking new ground in Norway: together with a franchise partner, the first export catalogue is published in Norway. In the coming years, another 13 partner countries follow suit. In collaboration with ROMPA, Sport-Thieme makes its mark in the field of therapy.

Sport-Thieme Niederlassungen 1992


Safety first, please!

Your vaulting box wobbles, your goal is not properly anchored and your mats are worn? Sport-Thieme helps and launches a sports equipment service for the creation, renovation and maintenance of sports halls and sports equipment.

Sport-Thieme Sportgeräteservice 1993


Online pioneers with a vision for the future

Whilst online shops are still met with contempt at this time, Sport-Thieme takes the plunge into the World Wide Web in 1996: its presence grows continuously; the number of users steadily increases. Since 2012, it has been possible to order from our wide range of sporting products using a smartphone.

Sport-Thieme Online Shop 1996


Always close to the customer

Sport-Thieme starts customer service teams in Berlin and Düsseldorf, thereby guaranteeing even quicker and more flexible advice on-site.


Half a century

Joy and sorrow sometimes follow in quick succession: company founder Karl-Heinz Thieme passes away shortly after the company’s 50-year anniversary. The sales record of 50 million DM is smashed for the first time.


A new millennium

The Sport-Thieme ball bounces into the new millennium: Denmark and Switzerland are added to the partner countries.


Great quality guaranteed

As a special act of customer service, Sport-Thieme introduces the 3-year guarantee on all products. Later, a 100-day returns policy and the 24/48-hour delivery service are also introduced in line with Sport-Thieme’s guiding principle, “The satisfaction of our customers has utmost priority.”

Sport-Thieme Kundenservice



The 100th Sport-Thieme catalogue, containing 500 pages, leaves the print shop in 2006. It’s no mean feat, the amount of work that goes into creation: before graphic and editorial work commence, product managers research current trends, designers test the feasibility of customer wishes, and quality managers test products for resilience.
 In addition, the company ‘Pedalo’ becomes part of Sport-Thieme GmbH.

2006 "pedalo" kommt zur Sport-Thieme GmbH


From a family company to global player

In 2008, Sport-Thieme is active in 12 countries with a local-language catalogue for each market, and there are independent online shops in 10 countries. On the website, customers can now get more detailed information on the products with illustrative product videos.



Sport-Thieme has been put through its paces and is now officially ranked among the 50 best German companies: Sport-Thieme employees are delighted to be awarded ‘Germany’s customer service champion 2010’.

Sport-Thieme ist Kundenchampion


Another new member in the family company

Maximilian Hohe joins the Executive Management.


Welcome to the Group

The Sport-Thieme Group buys the company ‘Automaten Hoffmann’.

2012: Automaten Hoffmann gehört nun zur Sport-Thieme GmbH


Ét voila!

Katharina Thieme-Hohe also joins the Executive Management.
 Furthermore, the paint shop is extended by one plant in compliance with EU guidelines and a French catalogue is published for the first time for Switzerland and Belgium.


A new era

A change to the Executive Management: Maximilian Hohe replaces Dr Hans-Rudolf Thieme.

Familie Thieme 2014


Fancy a makeover?

Sport-Thieme’s online shop is completely changed into a responsive design. At the same time, sale of clothing is discontinued.


New customer service office

Sport-Thieme opens a new customer service office in Leipzig. Two employees will advise schools, clubs and other organisations on-site in Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.


Customer service on-site

Sport-Thieme further extends its on-site customer service network with two new customer service teams in Hamburg and Frankfurt am Main. Two employees in each office will advise customers on-site in northern Germany, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate.

Sport-Thieme Vor-Ort-Beratung

New administration building

Also in 2017, the new and sustainable Sport-Thieme GmbH administration building is opened at the headquarters in Grasleben. Around 65 additional jobs are created thanks to this forward-thinking step.

Verwaltungsneugebäude der Sport-Thieme GmbH


The Sport-Thieme Academy

Sport-Thieme’s grand academy tour doesn’t just go through Germany – Austria and Switzerland are on the itinerary too.


Sport-Thieme Akademie


Twice the reason to celebrate!

Fittingly, the company’s 70th anniversary is marked by the group of Sport-Thieme companies breaking the sales record of 70 million euros.

Sport-Thieme Akademie