As the oldest German sports brand still in existence, we can look back on a history with a fine tradition. ERIMA gains new strength from over 115 years of experience for future expansion. We are happy to take you on a journey through ERIMA's history and show you how ERIMA firmly anchored the roots premium quality, design, innovation, passion, authenticity and community over the years in the DNA of the sports equipment manufacturer. Learn everything about the key milestones here:
1900-1928: The early years of a never-ending story
In a company's history there are many changes and further developments, but at ERIMA there is always one constant: The love for sport. This passion has accompanied us since day one and is an integral element of the ERIMA identity. Remigius Wehrstein sets up the sportswear factory of knitwear for gymnastics, track and field athletics and fencing in Reutlingen. The foundation for the ERIMA brand has been laid.
1928-1936: New owner
The company changes ownership. It is then renamed "R. Wehrstein & Co. Sportfabrik Reutlingen". A few years later the three bosses are bankrupt.
1936-1951: New beginning with ERICH MAK
With the takeover by Erick Mak in 1936 the company is provisionally renamed "R. Wehrstein & Co., Inhaber Erich Mak, Sport- und Berufs-Bekleidung, Reutlingen" .
A completely new beginning takes place after World War 2. As it was difficult to come across raw materials in this period, customers sent in worn clothing items. Jackets and trousers were made using these worn garments true to the motto "Make new from old".
1951-1954: Birth of the traditional name ERIMA
The company is named after its owner ERIch MAk and gets a new logo. The brand name used henceforth establishes itself on the market. The ERIMA brand name is associated with first-class sports textiles and is thus set on a path of growth and expansion. A second pillar is developed with the swimwear area.
1960-1972: Gold, Silver and Bronze winners shimmer in ERIMA
Sporting successes have shaped the ERIMA brand right from the start: Rome, Tokyo, Mexico City and Munich – ERIMA is regularly represented on the podium wherever the Olympic flag is hoisted and athletes from all nations compete for Gold, Silver and Bronze. ERIMA is the official supplier of German athletes at all four Olympic Games.
1960-1980: ERIMA is omnipresent
FC Bayern Munich, FC Schalke 04, VfB Stuttgart, 1. FC Cologne, 1. FC Kaiserlautern, Eintracht Frankfurt and many more – in the 70s and 80s ERIMA supplies almost the entire football Bundesliga. Also at that time many successful clubs from the German handball and volleyball scene chase points and titles in ERIMA gear.
1974: World champions in ERIMA
ERIMA is present at one of the most glorious triumphs in German sports history. The German national football team with Franz Beckenbauer and co. win the World Cup in Germany wearing the jerseys of the Swabian traditional company. The national team has been equipped with ERIMA since 1962. The cooperation lasts until after the 1978 World Cup.
1976: ERIMA as Adidas subsidiary
Erich Mak sells ERIMA for reasons of age and lack of an available successor. Adidas purchases the highly profitable company with around 600 staff at the time. The wing becomes the brand logo of the company for the first time. Thanks to specially negotiated contracts some teams appear in ERIMA or Adidas jerseys on alternate weeks.
1980-1996: From the safety pin to multiple team sports
For ERIMA the creed of the 1980s safeguards the quality. ERIMA offers an ever-increasing range of high-quality products for diverse sports, such as football, swimming, track and field athletics, gymnastics, handball, tennis, cycling races, bowling, basketball or jogging.
1993: Difficult times
During this period the company's profits mainly come from the textile production for Adidas. The production outsourcing to Asia a few years later nearly caused the disappearance of the long-established Swabian company.
1996: New beginning
Adidas hires Wolfram Mannherz to fundamentally redevelop the crumbling company. The "red ball" becomes the new brand logo. The wing is replaced for the moment, but soon celebrates its comeback.
1998: the new face
The economist and business graduate Wolfram Mannherz becomes Managing Director in 1998 and shareholder (49%) of ERIMA in 1999/2000.
Since 2000: Sports associations trust ERIMA quality
In 2007 the German Shooting Federation follows the German Gymnastics Association (2003) as official ERIMA partners. The German Volleyball Association, the German Canoe Association, the German Skating Union, the German Roller Skating and Inline Hockey Sports Association, the German Tennis Federation, as well as the Austrian Olympics Committee, are added over the years.
2004: The establishment of the modern by relying on tradition
The previous "red ball" brand is replaced with the notorious "wing" adapted to modern times. The modern brand image builds on the company's proud history steeped in tradition, thus creating a communicative focus for the future.
2005: new owner
Managing Director Wolfram Mannherz assumes the remaining shares from Adidas-Salomon AG as part of a management buy-out and has been the sole proprietor of ERIMA GmbH since 1 January 2005. The "Get together and win" motto practised by Mannherz is increasingly integrated in the corporate structure and thus establishes the ERIMA identity: multiple team sports.
Since 2008: ERIMA returns to the major sports scene
Involvement with the TSV 1860 Munich sports club, and four years later with the long-standing cooperation with 1. FC Cologne, ERIMA returns to the major German sports scene. Dynamo Dresden and Eintracht Braunschweig follow in the football.
2014: The constant drive for innovation
Innovation is an important pillar of the ERIMA identity. The football world début, the ERIMA HYBRID TRAINING, is the first ball which combines the advantages of adhesive and hand-stitched technology. The innovative football impresses with an extremely robust polyurethane outer skin, specially protected seams and the "Soft Touch" technology which improves playing properties.
2016: Gold, Silver & Bronze in Rio
ERIMA athletes stand out at the Olympic Games in Rio. The athletes in canoeing, shooting and modern pentathlon compete for medals in ERIMA. With 14 medals, ERIMA is number 1 on the German medals table of suppliers.
2017: Close connection
Up to 2017 Fabian Hambüchen is the ERIMA face in gymnastics. In 2013 Elisabetz Seitz is added as a brand ambassador. The new ERIMA gymnastics team is now completed with the Olympic bronze medallist Sophie Scheder, the multiple German champion Lukas Dauser and the young talent Tabea Alt.
2018/2019: The new core element of ERIMA
The preparations for the opening of the new logistics centre are in full swing. 53,000 items on the day, adapted to the individual wishes of every team athlete, are soon to leave the new ERIMA "Home of Teamsport" in Kirchentellinsfurt, Swabia.