As always, the European Judo Union are delighted to build new partnerships, strengthening the ties between judo and the wider community. This year we can celebrate a unity with ‘Zebra’, a brand for high quality martial arts mats and equipment that operates under the REGUPOL BSW GmbH company.
The aim is to constantly raise the professional standard, and for us to work for the benefit of our athletes and shareholders, without one there isn’t the other.
Speaking with the International Sales Director for REGUPOL BSW GmbH, André Krüger, he gave us the rundown of the company’s history and their purpose.
When was your company founded and what are the goals of ZEBRA?
Our company REGUPOL BSW GmbH was founded in 1954 in Germany. Since then, it has grown steadily. New products have been developed, new subsidiaries set up and new locations created. REGUPOL makes products out of high-quality recycled rubber and other elastic recycled components. It is one of the leading providers of sports floors, impact sound insulation, vibration insulation, impact protection flooring, structural protection mats and membranes and anti-slip mats for securing load. The company is based in Bad Berleburg, Germany. REGUPOL employs roughly 750 people around the world.
In 1970 we have started to manufacture the first judo mats like they are known today as the international standard. Already in 1972, the international world class competed on our judo mats during the Olympic Games in Munich. Since then we have been selling our martial arts mats through a global network of distributors and partners. Our brand ZEBRA was founded in 1997 in the USA by a former customer of us. Since his retirement in 2018 REGUPOL BSW owns the brand ZEBRA and has founded its own subsidiary in the United States. We have now started to promote and sell our mats under the brand ZEBRA globally and not only in the US. With ZEBRA, we are one of the leading training facility outfitters. We offer premier-quality flooring, mats and more, backed by experts who design, install, and maintain outstanding martial arts and fitness facilities.
What was it that attracted you to a partnership with the EJU?
The love for judo and the closeness to the sport and the athletes attracted us the most. The European Judo Union is a great association that actively promotes and supports the sport. At ZEBRA we are always looking for partners on our side, which fully support and focus on the development of the sport and its members and athletes. In addition, we believe that we can achieve great things together with the EJU and other partners. We stand fully behind the idea and the project of the EJU to support national associations and their clubs. Together with the EJU, we have a partner that has the same interests as we do – the development of the sport, as well as the safety and success of the clubs and their athletes.
What would you like to gain from this partnership?
We hope that this partnership will lead to good cooperation and that we will get to know many new people and athletes. We want to get closer to the sports and the athletes, as they can give us direct feedback on our products. This is the only way we can develop and improve new and existing products. For the athletes we want to be accessible and tangible and not just a company that manufactures mats and other products. We look forward to meeting many new people and promoting our brand in Europe in cooperation with the EJU.
Why is it important to be partnered with the EJU and how do your own company values align with the judo values?
For us it is an honor to work with such a great association like the EJU because they are the best contact in Europe for judo. We can’t wait to be part of their awesome network and to be part of their numerous events. With the help of the EJU we hope to convince clubs and athletes of the quality of our products in the European market and we are sure that we can achieve great things for the development of judo.
The values of judo also coincide with the values of our company and the ZEBRA brand. It is especially important to us that people treat each other with respect and that honesty comes first. Without the necessary courage and self-control, a sport like judo cannot be practiced. It’s pretty much the same for us here at ZEBRA. We appreciate our customers and partners and we treat them like colleagues – with honesty, frankness and highest respect. Athletes, clubs, gym owners and federations should see us as partners, which they want to contact first, before they open, improve or re-design their gym. Our goal is to be a partner, which is always by your side. With more than 50 years of experience in manufacturing martial arts mats, we want athletes to feel safe when competing on our mats. Quality “Made in Germany”, best possible service, as well as customer satisfaction are our top priority.
We are really looking forward to the partnership with the EJU and can’t wait to be part of the big judo family.
Author: Thea Cowen