about betahaus
Christoph Fahle
October 7, 2013

Startup of the week: Urban Sports Club

Betahaus put together it's beach volleyball team and now competing with other startups on the sand courts. You'd enjoy watching this spectacle of life-and-death dives for the ball and hearty cheering of others. This is also one of the results of the work of the Urban Sports Club.

The traditional way of doing sports in Germany is out-dated while a modern alternative has not been thought of…so far. Old-fashioned sports clubs with their inflexible contracts make the Urban Sports Club an essential addition to the obsolescent sports club landscape in Germany. Lots of possibilities come along with it, just check them out: 


Hey Moritz, how does the Urban Sports Club work?

We offer a flatrate to sports venues all over the city, basically a super sports flatrate. With one membership you get access to all of our more than 35 partner venues. Our members can choose freely between more than 15 types of sports from fitness to yoga/pilates, rock climbing/bouldering, team sports such as football and beach volleyball to dancing courses and much more. Everything included in one membership. And as we hate long-term contracts (in German so-called “Knebelverträge”) we introduced short time contracts, which can be cancelled on a monthly basis. In addition, we organise several sports leagues, such as the Startup Liga. 

What exactly is the Startup Liga?

The Startup Liga is a two-month football liga for startups and friends. The last edition Zalando just won a couple of weeks ago. The focus is explicitly not on the competition but rather on having fun together while doing sports and networking on and off the pitch. The Fall season of the leagues is just around the corner: On 6th of October we just started a Beach Volleyball Liga and on 8th/9th and 10th of October three Football Ligas are starting.

What is your target group?

Everybody is more than welcome to join the Urban Sports Club! You can join as an individual but we also offer special company deals. In our experience lots of companies would love to support the sports of their employees but find it quite difficult to do so: one employee wants fitness, the other football, the next yoga and so on. We take out all complexity by offering a one-stop company sports solution with lots of sports, lots of venues and hardly any hassle for the company.

How did you come up with the idea?

Benjamin and I were both working in consultancy before but we both wanted to do something else such as building up a startup. Benjamin had previously founded a startup focusing on football and enabling people to organize themselves to play. As we are both very much into sports we thought about different models and in the end developed the original concept further into our comprehensive sports package that we now offer.

How do people perceive it?

Really good. We went live with our sports offer roughly six months ago and since then have gained several hundred members - roughly half individual members and half company clients. In terms of partner sports venues, we have now almost 40 venues and are continuously adding new venues. The feedback we get from our members is also quite amazing. Particularly the social aspect of the Urban Sports Club -meeting new like-minded people- is extremely important to our members; even more so than we had previously expected.

What’s your focus going to be in the close future?

In the very short term (this and next week) our main focus is finalising our new sports ligas as I mentioned before - there are still three open spots for the football ligas.

More fundamentally our focus lies on attracting more customers and partner venues in Berlin. The next step will then be the rollout to more cities across Germany. In the long-term view our plan is to expand to other European countries.

Want to join Urban Sports Club and other startups at betahaus? See how here!