|Management||Nadine Sprügel (Chairwoman of the Board)|
|Number of employees||280 (Group, annual average 2021)|
|Sales||110 million euros (Group, 2019)|
Jako AG (spelled JAKO), based in Hollenbach, a district of the municipality of Mulfingen in the Hohenlohekreis region of Baden-Württemberg, is a German manufacturer of team sportswear.
The company is named after the location of Jako’s founding town of Stachenhausen, between the rivers Jagst and Kocher.
The Jako company was founded on 1 November 1989 in a Stachenhausen garage by Rudi Sprügel. The aim of the company was to equip all football clubs between the rivers Jagst and Kocher, which give the company its name. The idea came to Sprügel, who himself had worked in a sports shop, because he had noticed the lack of service and the long delivery times of larger brands.
Jako did much better business at the start of its operations than Sprügel had anticipated. In the first year, his company exceeded its planned turnover by 300%. Further years of strong growth followed, and by 1994 the company was already turning over double-digit millions. Just in time for its tenth birthday, the company was able to announce its first major sponsoring success: SC Freiburg started wearing Jako jerseys – the first club to do so in Germany’s top football league. In 2014, Jako was the partner of more than 100,000 amateur and professional clubs in various sports. Since 2008, a blue logo with two bars has stood for the brand, its elements symbolizing the rivers Jagst and Kocher.
In April 2016 a new logistics and administration centre was under construction. With Bayer Leverkusen, a top team in the Bundesliga and regular participant in international competitions wore Jako clothing for the first time from summer 2016. The newspaper Handelsblatt ran the headline: “JAKO – from the middle class to the Champions League”. In 2018, JAKO achieved 100 million euros in annual sales for the first time. Since the 2019/20 season, the company has also been outfitting VfB Stuttgart.
Jako sees itself as a specialist for team sports equipment, which is why the company chose “We are Team” as its brand claim in 2015. Today Jako offers more than 300 articles and more than 30,000 possible variants of sportswear.
Social commitment plays a major role at Jako. The company is a member of amfori and in the Alliance for Sustainable Textiles. Within this framework, JAKO works together with other companies, associations and political organisations to improve social and ecological standards in textile production. Through an in-house solar plant, the company produces more green energy than it needs for its own needs.
The company produces team and sports clothing. More recently, Jako has expanded its product range to include the Jako-Premium leisure collection.
The focus in Jako’s product range is on the sport of football. The company sells collections divided into several so-called team lines, consisting of tracksuits, hooded jackets, T-shirts and other functional training clothing. The range also includes hard goods such as glued, hand-sewn and machine-sewn balls, goalkeeper gloves and shin guards. Among other things, Jako produces the official match balls of the English National League. In the indoor collection, Jako brings together team sports equipment for handball, volleyball and basketball. A running collection completes the equipment for training and competition. The design element Jako-Dots has been characteristic of Jako products since 2014; the dots are intended to ensure recognition in conjunction with the brand logo. The smaller part of the product range is made up of sports leisurewear. Under the collection name Basic, Jako produces T-shirts, polo shirts and jackets for everyday use away from the sports field.
The company is an outfitter of some well-known teams of different sports. The table shows a selection of the different sponsoring activities sorted by country, sport, club and sponsoring period. The list is probably not complete.
|Germany||Soccer||VfB Stuttgart||as of 2019|
|Germany||Soccer||Bayer 04 Leverkusen||as of 2016|
|Germany||Soccer||FC Würzburg Kickers||from 2017|
|Germany||Soccer||SC Preußen Münster||as of 2019|
|Germany||Soccer||FC Energie Cottbus||from 2017|
|Germany||Soccer||1. FFC Turbine Potsdam||as of 2005|
|Germany||Soccer||Red-White Essen||from 2017|
|Switzerland||Soccer||FC St. Gallen||as of 2011|
|Russia||Soccer||Ruby Kazan||as of 2018|
|Netherlands||Soccer||SC Heerenveen||as of 2008|
|Belgium||Soccer||Royal Antwerp FC||as of 2016|
|Austria||Soccer||SCR Cashpoint Altach||as of 2007|
|Belarus||Soccer||Shakhtyor Soligorsk||as of 2016|
|Moldova||Soccer||National team Moldova||as of 2016|
|North Macedonia||Soccer||National team North Macedonia||as of 2014|
|Germany||Hockey||Augsburg Panthers||as of 2014|
|Germany||Soccer||SV Darmstadt 98||2015–2018|
The sporting goods manufacturer was awarded on the basis of various achievements.
In 2014 Jako received the “Hidden Champion Award” in silver, presented by the TV station n-tv. The jury stated: “Jako (…) is pursuing continuous and healthy growth. But not only the brand management is convincing, also the social commitment is part of the corporate philosophy.”
JAKO is known in the market for its partnership attitude towards specialist dealers. This is evidenced by several awards from the trade press. In 2014, 2016 and 2018, German specialist sports retailers voted the company into first place in the “Leistungsspiegel” (performance mirror) of the specialist trade magazine “markt intern”. The specialist sports retailers awarded the marks in various categories such as design, support and delivery capability. In the comparable ranking “Die Besten” (“The Best”) by the specialist retail magazine SAZ, JAKO also took first place in 2020, ahead of all other brands from the team sports industry.
In the fall of 2009, Jako attracted media attention. Jako had issued a warning to a blogger who made derogatory comments about a new logo. Subsequently, Jako demanded payment of a penalty after the offending text was reproduced by a news aggregator. Following public criticism mainly in online media and the blogosphere, Jako waived financial claims against the blogger. During a visit of the blogger in Hollenbach, the company and the blogger closed the case. The weblog “Netzpolitik.org” wrote in a review at the end of 2009: “Rudi Sprügel regretted that the ‘dispute had built up so unnecessarily’. It was unfortunate not to react immediately to the inquiries of bloggers and journalists: ‘After all, we have nothing to hide'”.
On 6 November 2009, Stiftung Warentest examined football fan jerseys, including the jerseys of the Bundesliga football team Eintracht Frankfurt, which was equipped by Jako. Stiftung Warentest had found softeners in the foamed sponsor imprint on the red and black home jerseys for the 2009/2010 season, which are permitted for textiles but banned for toys in the EU. Due to this high level of harmful substances, the jerseys were rated “unsatisfactory” and therefore and were therefore withdrawn from sale by Eintracht Frankfurt at short notice. As only children’s jerseys were assessed in the test, the testers pointed out that in their opinion the use of phthalates (softeners) should also be prevented on these. The jersey was otherwise completely harmless and received the grade “very good (0.5-1.5)” in all other tests relevant to harmful substances.
- Heike Faller: The men’s outfitter. How the small company Jako near Würzburg became one of the largest manufacturers of football jerseys in Germany – without advertising, without an image, without a slogan. In: Die Zeit. No. 31, 2001 (zeit.de).
- Official website of Jako AG
- Jako AG: Consolidated financial statements for the financial year from 01.01.2017 to 31.12.2017. In: Bundesanzeiger, 21 January 2018, retrieved on 20 March 2021.
- The men’s outfitter.In: Die Zeit. 26 July 2001, retrieved 21 April 2016.
- Jürgen Paul:Sporting goods manufacturer Jako celebrates its 25th anniversary.In: SWP.de. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
- DO YOU FOOTBALL equips the Ironmen.In: Stadionwelt-business.de. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
- Information on the trademarkWord and figurative mark “Jako in the register of the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA)
- Joachim Hofer: Jako and Bayer Leverkusen: From the middle class to the Champions League. In: Handelsblatt. 10.February 2016 (handelsblatt.com).
- JAKO History.Retrieved 20 March 2021.
- New supplier at VfB – Jako will be dressing VfB from 2019. In: Stuttgarter Zeitung. 14. May 2018.
- WE ARE TEAM.In:www.jako.de. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
- n-tv news television:“Hidden Champion”” 2013: Jako AG.In: n-tv.de. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
- Member JAKO.Retrieved 20 March 2021.
- Member JAKO.Retrieved 20 March 2021.
- Fairness & Quality.In:www.jako.de. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
- Jako Sign 10 Year Deal With National League.In: images.google.com. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
- In the shadow of the greats – A brand snapshot.In: BehindTheLine. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
- JAKO Teams.jako.de, retrieved on 20 March 2021.
- Jersey sponsors and equipment suppliers.bundesliga.de – the official website of the Bundesliga, retrieved 20 March 2020.
- n-tv news television:Hidden Champion 2013: Reinhausen GmbH is “Hidden Champion”.In: n-tv.de. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
- Team Sports 2018 Performance Review.Retrieved March 20, 2020.
- German partnership champion.Retrieved 20 March 2021.
- Concentrated blog power. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung, September 3, 2009.
- How the Net is changing public relations. In: Spiegel Online, 2 September 2009, retrieved on 27 October 2009.
- Jako admits defeat. In: Die Zeit Online, 7 September 2009, retrieved 27 October 2009.
- A day in Hollenbach.trainer-baade.de, retrieved 21 April 2016.
- Jako vs. Baade: All’s well that ends well?In: netzpolitik.org. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
- Stiftung Warentest Red card for Mainz and Frankfurt. In: Test. No. 11/2009, retrieved on 14 December 2012.
- Article on 11freunde.de, 22 October 2009, retrieved 21 November 2009.
- Stiftung Warentest Football fan jerseys (home jerseys). In: Test. No. 11/2009, retrieved on 1 February 2013.