Why an old-school football club came to find a new coworking home

At its 125th anniversary, Berlin's main football club Hertha BSC expanded its activity to Mindspace. A move so bold we had to find out why

Written by Moran Zohar

3 years ago

Hertha Club is one of the most well known football teams in the German capital’s area. It was founded in Berlin in 1892 and this year, is celebrating its 125th anniversary. So why did one of the oldest and best football clubs that employs over 116 people decide to start moving to the youngest and hippest coworking space in Berlin?

Paul Keuter has been working for Hertha since the beginning of 2016 and is now a member of the executive board. He is responsible for brand strategy, communication, and the digital transformation process. Before Hertha, Paul worked at Twitter and even as the agent of pro football players like Arne Friedrich – all this while being an avid football fan and player since his childhood in Hamburg.

We sat with Paul and asked him about the curious move. Sports in Mindspace?

“There are many different reasons for us to come to a coworking space,” he explains. He cites being a part of the center of Germany’s tech scene as one of the main reasons Hertha Club decided to move in to Mindspace. “For us it was very important to be a part of this scene, as we are a very traditional club, and we want to possess the future. We also never had an office in the east side of Berlin, and this was part of what we wanted. We wanted to move closer to the ‘New Berlin.’”

125 years of football, now in a coworking space. Photo: Hertha BSC website

Currently, Hertha Club’s marketing team, communications department, and brand department work at Mindspace, with the goal being to move all departments in eventually. Well, except of course, the players themselves.

“It’s a cultural change for us. The people who sit here at the moment are our younger employees that are more open minded and ready for a change. And they love working here.”

But Paul also wants the old-school team members to move in. “I want the accountants to be here, I want them to get out of their comfort zones.”

As startups, we know that we have to be innovative, quick, and fearless to succeed. “This way of thinking scares those of us from the old economy,” he explains, “so it’s our challenge to see that our employees slowly get into that and find their security in a place like Mindspace.”

While Paul mentions that the cultural change to a coworking environment isn’t exactly painless, there are advantages. “You get so many new impressions that you can learn from. You can learn a lot about how to be brave and change.”

The social aspect of working at Mindspace is one of the biggest attractions for Paul. “We had a housewarming in the beginning, and we loved to host the other Mindspace members and get to know them. It was a big success.” He says that the diversity of perspectives in a coworking space is just what Hertha Club needs to overcome obstacles and grow as an organization into the new economy.

“It’s a very important milestone for us to be here and we love the energy that you guys, the Mindspace team, create here.”

“I always tell my colleagues that if the city does not come to us, we have to go to the city. I want Hertha to become Berlin and Berlin to become Hertha. So come visit us at our office!”



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