A basketball legend and former NBA player, Dirk Nowitzki who has been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in April 2023 recently visited Japan. In his visit, Mr. Nowitzki participated events held in collaboration with BAUERFEIND and its Japanese distributor, Pacific Supply Co. Ltd.

The events included a BAUERFEIND CONGRESS (academic conference) for the staffs of medical institutions, prosthetics device manufacturers, and sports stores that sell BAUERFEIND products in Japan, and BAUERFEIND FLAGSHIP TOKYO.  The CONGRESS was held in the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo (The Four Seasons Hotel). The purpose of the event was to increase the value we can provide to our customers by inviting staff from medical institutions, prosthetics device manufacturers, and sports shops that sell BAUERFEIND products in Japan to learn more about BAUERFEIND products.

Event Schedule

  1. Opening Speech from Mr. Rainer Berthan, CEO of BAUERFEIND AG
  2. Opening Speech from Mr. Kei Kawamura, President/CEO of Pacific Supply Co., Ltd.
  3. Keynote Speech: BAUERFEIND's sports business and its involvement in the Olympic Games
  4. Keynote Speech by Mr. Dirk Nowitzki
  5. Talk Session with Dirk Nowitzki and Basketball Influencers
  6. Workshops by BAUERFEIND

1. Opening Speech from Mr. Rainer Berthan, CEO of BAUERFEIND AG

Rainer Berthan has been CEO of BAUERFEIND since January 2020. He is the first CEO from outside BAUERFEIND, a three-generation family-owned company.

Mr. Berthan was scheduled to visit BAUERFEIND FLAGSHIP TOKYO in the year of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, but he regretted that he could not visit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and he spoke about BAUERFEIND's strong sales in Japan. He also told the participants that their business supports a wide range of people to stay active, from the medical field to sports.

2. Opening Speech from Mr. Kei Kawamura, Presedent/CEO of Pacific Supply Co. Ltd.

Kei Kawamura, President/CEO of Pacific Supply Co., Ltd, thanked all the participants and talked about his first encounter with BAUERFEIND.

Mr. Kawamura told "In 1995, when we were considering to deal with a supporter of another German manufacturer, which was our business partner at that time, we visited almost all Zanitate Houses in Germany and found that almost all of them had BAUERFEIND's orthotics and supporters. Therefore, we requested BAUERFEIND to handle their products with us in Japan, but we were not able to do so at that time. I remember how happy we were to be able to start doing business with BAUERFEIND after that."

Afterwards, Mr. Kawamura assured that, together with everyone who attended, would deliver BAUERFEIND products to bring more active lives to more customers.

3. Keynote Speech: "BAUERFEIND's Sports Business and its Involvement in the Olympic Games

The keynote speech were given by Joerg Ritzerfeld, head of sports business marketing at BAUERFEIND, and Maximilian Poetzschner, prosthetist and head of BAUERFEIND's orthotics division, who spoke about BAUERFEIND's business history, its role in the sports sector, and its relationship to the Olympics. Mr. Ritzerfeld also explained company's origins and its involvement in the sports business. He added that, BAUERFEIND's motto is "Motion is Life": to get people back on their feet again, to get people moving so that they can enjoy their activities.

Mr. Ritzerfeld further elucidated that the company was founded in 1929 in Zeulenroda, Germany, a place where knitting is popular, and that the supporter GenuTrain®, now synonymous with BAUERFEIND, was conceived at a dinner with the doctor of the German national soccer team. BAUERFEIND began supporting the German national team at the 2001 Beijing Olympics and was selected as an official supplier for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Mr. Ritzerfeld further spell out that BAUERFEIND was also selected as a supplier for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and they dealt and treated nearly 1,000 cases in about 30 days.

How BAUERFEIND Responded at the Olympics

Mr. Maximilian Poetzschner told, "It was very challenging to figure out how to respond to the athletes in the Olympics. We had to think about what we could do, not only with the physicians and physio therapists at the polyclinic, but also with the team doctors and other medical personnel. I think the most important thing is to be there for the athlete, to have empathy, to be able to communicate with the athlete in order to meet his or her needs."

He then reported on case studies where an Armenian athlete who was able to win a silver medal by supporting a thigh ligament injury with BAUERFEIND products, and the Jamaican athlete who won a gold medal at a previous World Championships.

Athletes Using BAUERFEIND Products

Mr. Joerg Ritzerfeld has informed that, many athletes in the United States and Europe (although it is not sponsored) use BAUERFEIND products, regardless of competition, including handball, soccer, mixed martial arts, sailing, and ground field hockey. 

He also explained that, especially in basketball, they have signed an ambassador contract with Dirk Nowitzki and launched "SPORTS KNEE SUPPORT NBA" and "SPORTS COMPRESSION KNEE SUPPORT NBA", the only officially licensed NBA knee brace in the world. "DIRK NOWITZKI SICNATURE LINE", which features Mr. Nowitzki's famous One-Legged Fadeaway shot as its logo.

Next Article

The BAUERFEIND CONGRESS and MEDIA CONFERENCE have serise of events which we already mentioned earlier. The next and final part of the BAUERFEIND CONGRESS and MEDIA CONFERENCE will be discribed in another new article soon.