Fischer Sports is celebrating a 100 years

Founded in Upper Austria 1924 by Joseph Fischer, and still headquartered there, Fischer has grown from humble beginnings to become one of the world’s largest manufacturers of ski equipment and a trusted name in skiing, hockey, and outdoor sports. Over the past century, Fischer has continuously pushed the boundaries of technology and design to deliver superior products that enhance the performance and enjoyment of athletes at all levels, following its vision to be the athlete’s number one choice.

„MOTIVATED AND QUALIFIED EMPLOYEES WHO ARE WILLING TO TAKE CHARGE AND BREAK NEW GROUND ARE THE FOUNDATION OF OUR SUCCESS.”

JOSEF FISCHER


1924-1958
FROM WAGON MAKER TO SKI FACTORY

In 1924, wagon maker journeyman Josef Fischer decides to take the courageous step of self-employment in a modest wooden barn at Ufergasse 4. The success story of the ski factory begins in Ried with money borrowed from relatives and Fischer’s associate Georg Grösslbauer. Josef Fischer, untiring in striving to achieve his goals, forges ahead with the expansion of his company at every opportunity, despite difficult financial circumstances. Upon his death in 1959, his successors inherit the Fischer ski company from him which, under his leadership, has made 500,000 pairs of skis.


1959
JOSEF FISCHER JUNIOR SETS A NEW COURSE

The year 1959 is a dramatic one in the history of the Fischer ski factory. Josef Fischer senior passes away in February, his children Josef junior and Selma Sturmberger are now in charge of the company. Josef Fischer junior reorganises the company throughout, with innovative ideas in all areas – in both production and sales. He hires new employees who help to realise his visions. He plans a new factory. It is a change process which already begins, however, in the middle of the 1950s prior to the death of his father. A process which enables the company under the leadership of Josef Fischer junior to become the largest and the most modern ski factory in the world.


1960-1978
ON THE WAY TO A GLOBAL BRAND

The 1960s and 1970s are a period of constant growth, as Fischer rises to become a world leader. This meteoric development gains impetus from the first major successes in Alpine racing, with Egon Zimmermann’s victory in the 1964 Olympics as a climax. The new ski factory goes up in Ried-Angerwaschen and is gradually expanded to become the world’s largest by the early 1970s. Launching out in new directions, Fischer starts making cross-country skis in 1971 and soon takes the lead in this field. Tennis rackets are manufactured for the first time in 1974. Fischer founds Sport AG, involving mergers with the companies Löffler, Kästle and Dynafit.


1979 - 1999
INNOVATIONS BRING SUCCESS

New methods, new processes, new materials – Josef Fischer is always on the lookout for innovations to bolster the success of the Fischer brand. The boss’s ideas are the starting point for groundbreaking new products which revolutionise the market for skis. Fischer enables a large team of developers with state-of-the-art facilities to break new ground. That is how Fischer, with its know-how in the field of fibre composite materials, becomes a supplier to the aerospace industry. But Fischer is not just a technological pioneer; it is the first ski manufacturer to relocate part of their production to eastern Europe. A new ski factory, set up in Mukachevo in Ukraine, also turns out to be vital for the company’s future.


2000-2014
SINGLE-SOURCE SUPPLIER IN THE CORE AREA OF SKIING

In the new millennium, after the difficult years 2007 and 2008, Fischer concentrates on its core competences. The shareholdings in FACC AG and Fischer Composite Technology are sold off and the Business Unit Tennis is closed down. Fischer focuses on Alpine and Nordic skiing: in these core areas the company becomes a single-source supplier – Fischer now develops not only skis but also boots, bindings and poles. By concentrating on this core area the company succeeds in consolidating its position.


2015 - 2024
Ascending to new heights

The most successful Olympic Games of 2014 are followed by eventful years in which Fischer's innovative spirit continues. First, the company takes the step towards independence with Nordic bindings and develops its own binding set-up called TURNAMIC®. In 2018, Fischer expands its portfolio by acquiring the well-known pole brand ONE WAY.

However, 2020 brings sad news when the death of Josef "Pepi" Fischer, the son of the company founder, shakes the family business. Further bad news follows just two months later when a fire destroys the production facility in Mukachevo (UKR). The company management decides to rebuild, which demands an incredible amount of effort in a very short time. During these hardships, the company also must cope with the effects of COVID-19 and the outbreak of war in Ukraine.

However, Fischer overcomes all challenges and emerges stronger: The Mukachevo production facilities are now equipped with state-of-the-art production capabilities, and the company - which remains family-owned - enters the next century of its history.


Interviews

In the course of our history we have had many companions - people & athletes, who have shaped and developed further our products, the Fisher brand and mostly the whole industry. During our jubilee we speak with some of them about the time we spent together, exchanging common and ones or the others amusing anecdotes.