The band formed in the 1970s, and rode to national popularity playing New wave music. The creative force was Hans Vandenburg (guitar and vocals), with Max Mollinger (drums), Peter Calicher (keyboards), Eric Wehrmeyer (bass), and the "Gruppettes" Josée van Iersel and Meike Touw (vocals). The band played pop songs whose lyrics contained humor, situational comedy, and inside musical jokes.
Their first single was Out There In The Jungle (Polydor 1976), but the height of their career came with the two albums 10 Mistakes (1977) and Back to '78 (1978). They came to popularity just after the height of punk rock, but were regarded as more post-punk, veering more towards the mainstream pop. "Dreamin", a song from the album 10 Mistakes received some college radio airplay in the US. They were admired for their live performances, which had great humour and slapstick. Their best known song is Beep Beep Love (from the album Ten Mistakes), which enjoyed some success both in the UK and US. The UK's Radio & Records voted them "Top Newcomer '78".
Other classics originating from the milestone albums include Tokyo, Hey Girl, I Said No, Lasting Forever, Shave, Rock 'n' Roll and Mission à Paris. The albums were produced by Robert Jan Stips (Supersister, Golden Earring, The Nits). After releasing single Sleeping Bag Hans Vandenburg disbanded Gruppo Sportivo at the height of their popularity. He got the band back together for Copy Copy in 1980, after the release of his solo debut album Buddy Odor Is a Gas (1979). Only Calicher and Mollinger remained from the original line-up.