Founded in 1989, the basketball club BG Charlottenburg came close to financial ruin a mere two years later. Salvation came from an unexpected and surprising source. A chance meeting led Franz Josef Schweitzer, then CEO of ALBA, and the club's Vice President Gerhard Ulrich Schmidt to found a partnership - one that has now endured for over two decades, with repercussions extending far beyond Berlin.
Pride of the Berlin sports scene
ALBA took the club under its wing, becoming its principal sponsor and lending the club its name. With the change of name came a new era of success that saw the "Albatrosses" reach new heights. In 1995, ALBA BERLIN became the first German club team to pick up a European title, the Korac Cup, and went on to win the German Championship and Cup two years later.
ALBA BERLIN has notched up over a dozen national and international titles to date, making it Germany's most successful basketball team of the past 20 years. With attendance figures rocketing, eventually the club had to look for a new home. Since September 2008, ALBA BERLIN has played its home games in the Mercedes-Benz-Arena (former O2 World), one of the most modern multifunction arenas in the world, in front of crowds averaging in excess of 10,000.
But commitment and team spirit are not only the key to success in top-level sport. The same individual and collective dedication is required when dealing with young talent and mass participation sports. ALBA BERLIN is deeply committed to the development of fresh talent, and has established its own ALBA youth concept. The "ALBA macht Schule" ("ALBA sets the pace") project sees the company set up basketball clubs in every kind of school in Berlin. Then there's "ALBA auf Tour" ("ALBA on tour"), a programme providing day camps where young, up-and-coming talents in the Brandenburg region can discover how much fun basketball is. ALBA BERLIN is also actively involved in training coaches. And it has recently supported "Die Arche" ("The ark"), a Christian organisation for children and teenagers in Berlin. Weekly training sessions are provided for the children, and there are plans to form a basketball team.
All ALBA Group sports projects have one thing in common - the desire to offer children and teenagers an exciting opportunity to get involved in basketball. The chance to watch, be inspired... and join in.