One sunny Saturday in September, I had to go to the small village of Weiler near the city of Sinsheim, some 25 miles away from Heidelberg. I knew only two things: that my passengers would arrive in a helicopter and that their next stop would be the soccer stadium in Sinsheim where a game of the German premier league would take place. Since I had been asked to wear a suit and tie, I thought my guests must be important officials or famous soccer players.
I waited inside the small sports ground until a high-end helicopter landed and four casually dressed men in a great mood got out. Two of them – a man in his early fifties and his twenty-year-old son had won the Coca-Cola premier league sweepstakes. The first prize was an all-inclusive soccer weekend.
On Friday they had flown down all the way from their hometown in northern Germany to Munich to see the record-holding champion FC Bayern München play against VfL Wolfsburg. The game ended in a 2:2 tie. After a night out in Munich and a good night sleep in a first-class hotel, their helicopter took off again to bring them to the next match at Sinsheim.
This time it was TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, a team sponsored by SAP founder Dietmar Hopp against the traditional club FC Schalke 04. Hoffenheim won 2:0. Afterwards I drove them to the city of Mainz, the home of the public broadcaster ZDF, where they had tickets for the famous sports show called – you guessed it – Sportschau.
For me it was a great experience being allowed to be part of that very special day of my guests!