Ice Hockey Team: Kölner Haie

Cologne’s ice hockey team skates to victory with Babbel — with smooth communication on and off the ice

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About the customer

The Kölner Haie (Cologne Sharks) are an ice hockey team and founding member of the Deutsche Eishockey-Liga (German Ice Hockey League). The team has been playing in the top division since 1973 and attracts international professional players from Canada, the US, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe.
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Babbel for Business meets Kölner Haie

Discover how Babbel empowers the Kölner Haie to improve their communication on and off the ice, cultivating a positive team culture.

The challenge

As a Canadian-influenced sport, many ice hockey terms originate from English, making it also the Kölner Haie’s language of choice on the rink and beyond. On the one hand, this means that German-speaking players need a strong command of English. On the other hand, it’s important for the Kölner Haie to offer their international players an opportunity to learn German, so they can integrate and feel more at home in Germany. The organization’s employees, too, must be fluent in Business English to facilitate effective communication and provide comprehensive administrative assistance to the players. That’s why the Kölner Haie sought a language learning program that required minimal organizational effort while offering maximum flexibility for the learners.

Why Babbel?

With Babbel Professional, the Kölner Haie have found a language learning solution that meets all their needs: Offering a centralized digital platform to both access and manage the language courses, flexible choice of learning languages and levels, and high-quality content that’s effective and enjoyable.

Whether on the app or the computer, learners use the Babbel platform to practice their new language in short, 15-minute lessons that fit into their busy schedule and are ideal to make a long bus ride, for instance, a little shorter. With learning topics relevant to everyday life, they can use their new language skills right away at work and in their spare time.

“The experience on the app translates extremely well into the real world.”

Jonathan Matsumoto, Ice Hockey Player for Kölner Haie

In addition to the main languages of German and English, Kölner Haie employees also benefit from learning other languages. One employee, for example, uses Babbel to brush up on the Spanish she studied at school and much appreciates the corporate benefit.

The Kölner Haie don’t only enjoy competing on the ice, but also in language learning, using small challenges to make learning more fun and keep everyone motivated.

“Especially in our job, where we have a lot to do and have unpredictable working hours, the advantage of Babbel is that we can use it whenever we want.”

Celia Schweigel, Partnerships & Key Account Manager for the Kölner Haie


From professional players to staff members — the Kölner Haie are happy with Babbel’s digital language learning platform. Thanks to the confidence they’ve gained in speaking English, the team can communicate more easily with each other on the ice and in all organizational areas. The Kölner Haie are using Babbel with enthusiasm, further cultivating their positive team culture and strengthening their team bond.

“I can wholeheartedly recommend Babbel to any organization. It’s a great tool, it’s easy, and it’s fun.”

Philipp Walter, Managing Director of the Kölner Haie

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