Prof. Mayer has a relationship spanning more than 20 years with the TSG organization and its affiliated enterprises. He has enjoyed the confidence and a close working relationship with the club’s well-known philanthropist and owner, Mr. Dietmar Hopp. Mr. Hopp is one of Germany’s leading citizens and is the Co-Founder, former CEO, and former Chairman of Germany’s largest public corporation, software giant SAP. Together, Mr. Hopp and Prof. Mayer have taken a “Bringing Science to Soccer” approach to youth development at highly regarded TSG Hoffenheim Academy, one of the most consistent and highest-quality talent development academies throughout Europe.
Mr. Hopp has commented that “The TSG philosophy is founded on a developmental model which emphasizes educating players in fundamental aspects of both sports and everyday life….In this way, we want to encourage an active lifelong learning approach and prepare our young players with a qualified holistic education for the demands of later life.”
Through a strategic expansion, TSG Hoffenheim, also operates a wide-spanning, global network with clubs and training centers in Brazil, France, Portugal, Ghana and the United States. In addition to COPA STC, TSG has also established partnerships in the USA with leading universities and colleges, and the MLS side FC Cincinnati, front runner of the Eastern Conference in Major League Soccer in the 2023 campaign. All these organizations benefit from Prof. Mayer’s deep knowledge and experience and the talent base of the high-caliber TSG sports science team.
Mr. Hall first met Prof. Mayer in 2014, during his early research into cutting-edge methodologies and emerging technologies that he wanted to incorporate into a new type of private training center in the USA. This research eventually led to the creation of COPA STC, North America’s most technologically advanced training center, and its single largest indoor soccer facility. “I visited many leading European youth academies on numerous occasions, and while there are many excellent organizations, I personally resonated with the extreme competence of the TSG organization and their science-based approach. Their rigor and discipline are coupled with a certain moral integrity rooted in striving to make better people for our common future. This player-focused professional approach is delivered in a humble and unassuming way, and this sets an outstanding example for our own organization to emulate,” said Mr. Hall. This philosophy seems to mirror one that has been ever present in Mr. Halls business practice for decades and printed on all his company’s digital and published brochures, “Be Friendly, Stay Humble, Work Hard”.
Further, COPA intends to initiate various competitions for COPA’s membership base to earn the right to participate in all-expense-paid extended training camps at the TSG Academy in Germany. This incredible opportunity will enable talented players to showcase their skills and possibly open doors to some of the world’s most esteemed professional soccer clubs through the joint efforts of COPA and the TSG Academy.
About COPA Innovation Laboratories: COPA Innovation Laboratories owns certain intellectual property, patented sports training devices, sports-oriented real estate, and the business of COPA STC. COPA STC is a leading Center for Optimal Performance and Athlete Science. COPA has attracted attention with its proprietary COPA Score, a Comprehensive and Objective Performance Assessment for soccer players. COPA STC is a leader in the use of technologically enhanced training tools designed to generate objective data to inform decisions, within its “laboratory-style” training facility located in Walnut Creek, California. With a strong focus on utilizing technology and bespoke processes, COPA STC conducts groundbreaking research in sports science and aims to revolutionize the player ID process and optimize athlete performance and development.
About TSG Hoffenheim: TSG Hoffenheim is a professional soccer club in Germany’s top division based near Heidelberg. Known for its commitment to excellence and innovation, TSG Hoffenheim has gained a reputation as one of Germany’s most progressive soccer clubs, and the TSG Hoffenheim Youth Academy in particular has secured a well-deserved reputation for being a highly effective developer of player talent. The partnership with COPA STC further solidifies TSG Hoffenheim’s dedication to supporting organizations that share similar goals, through knowledge transfers and other engagements. This partnership will also further advance the brand development of TSG Hoffenheim internationally within the host country of the 2026 World Cup.