Andi Spies
Andi Spies

Actionsports Community in Mourning

Ruedi Herger: Obituary for Empathic Impulse Giver

Ruedi Herger, CEO of TSG International AG, has died unexpectedly at the age of 54. Herger's work in the snowboard industry as well as in action sports had a significant impact on the sports industry. Over the past 16 years, he established TSG as the leading provider of protective clothing in action sports. His friend and writer Andi Spies remembers him - as a source of inspiration, business partner and friend. An obituary.

Ruedi Herger, CEO of TSG International AG, died completely unexpectedly on Sunday, February 6, 2022, as a result of a heart attack. The entire TSG team and all employees of the Swiss company mourn with his family. Ruedi Herger shaped the brand for over 16 years and established TSG on an international level as one of the leading suppliers of protective clothing for action athletes. He lived to the age of 54.

Ruedi Herger had been active in the snowboard industry since the early 1990s. Initially in sales and team management for the snowboard brands Sims and Santa Cruz. Here he looked after, among others, the later Olympic champion Gian Simmen and traveled as team manager and coach with the Swiss junior national team to various youth world championships. Due to his calm and empathic way of dealing with young athletes, he was highly appreciated in the scene.

His work in the snowboard industry was followed by collaboration with the TSG brand founded in 1988 by skateboard pioneer Titus Dittman. Here Herger played a significant role in the development of the brand and the expansion of the product range. In 2005, Ruedi Herger and his partners took over TSG from Titus AG. They founded TSG International AG and moved the company's headquarters and design lab to Zurich, Switzerland.

As a passionate snowboarder and mountain biker, Ruedi and his team expanded the product portfolio for bikers and also repeatedly set creative accents in marketing. Legendary from that time is the jump of TSG team rider Timo Pritzel over the Berlin Wall (2005). The sponsoring of top-class snowboarders such as Gian Simmen, Eero Ettala, and Iouri Podladtchikov also helped the brand to position itself as one of the market leaders in snowboarding.

I myself met Ruedi in the early 90s. Back then, we met as coaches and trainers of young snowboarders at numerous youth world championships. Ruedi was involved with the Swiss Snowboard Association, I with the German Snowboard Association. His always open, calm and empathetic manner made me like him right away and did not correspond at all to the then widespread cliché of a rebellious snowboarder.

In my job as editor-in-chief of the "Snowboarder Monster Backside Magazine" our paths crossed again and again on a professional level in the following years. Here I got to know Ruedi as a reliable partner who combined the snowboard spirit with professionalism. A quality that, in my experience, is the exception rather than the rule in the industry. This virtue was also appreciated by many of his current business partners, for whom he was not only a partner, but a friend.

Ruedi Herger has shaped TSG for the last 16 years and established the company internationally. With him, the entire industry loses a source of inspiration, a valued business partner, and a valuable person who was deeply rooted emotionally and authentically in the world of action sports.

"We are grateful for the wonderful time we were able to spend together with him and will continue TSG in his spirit. Rest in Peace Ruedi!"
Mailing TSG International, 9.2.2022

The entire ISPO team and the editorial team are with his wife Nadja Herger-Bondarenko, their daughter, and the entire Herger family in their thoughts, to whom we extend our heartfelt condolences.

Share article
Andi Spies
Andi Spies