Nogometni Klub Slaven was first established in Koprivnica in June 1907 as a team for students living in the city. Over the years, the club has undergone a host of name changes, with former names including HŠK Victorija, HŠK Koprivnica and NK Slaven Bilokalnik. Today, inside Croatia, the team is primarily known by the name Slaven Belupo, due to a sponsorship agreement with a local pharmaceutical company called Belupo. Internationally, however, the name Slaven Koprivnica is most widely used.
The club's early years were difficult and Slaven actually disbanded for several years in the 1920s, before returning in 1930. Since Croatia gained independence from Yugoslavia, the team's fortunes have improved and the team have started to establish themselves as one of the more significant sides in the country.
Since gaining promotion to the top flight back in 1997, Slaven Koprivnica have been ever-present in the Prva HNL and have, on occasion, challenged near the top of the table. Their best performance in the division came during the 2007–08 campaign, when the team eventually finished as league runners up behind Dinamo Zagreb. The 2011–12 season also saw the club perform admirably and finish in third place. As a result of these league performances, Slaven have made several entries into the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League.
Marijo Dodik holds the club record for most goals scored in the Prva HNL, having netted 75 times in 228 games. Other notable footballers to have represented the club include Miljenko Kovačić, Bojan Vručina and the former Croatian internationals Leon Benko and Srebrenko Posavec.
Slaven Koprivnica currently play their home matches at Koprivnica City Stadium, which ranks amongst the smallest venues in the Croatian top tier. In 2007, the stadium underwent renovations to implement floodlights and future renovations are also planned. The ground is currently able to hold 4,000 supporters.