Rekortan Celebrates 30 Years as the Official Surface of The Penn Relays!

There really aren’t that many things that have been around the track and field world as long as Rekortan but The Penn Relays is the great grandfather of them all.  It is the oldest and largest track and field competition in the United States, occurring annually since 1895.

Held each year during the last week of April, The Penn Relays regularly attract over 100,000 fans during a 3 day period with as many as 50,000 attending on Saturdays. The event will host more than 15,000 participants from High Schools, Colleges and Track Clubs throughout North America and abroad. It is held at the University of Pennsylvania at Franklin Field, the oldest stadium in the country that functions as both a football and track stadium.

The track at Franklin Field also has a historic background. It is a Rekortan track. When Rekortan debuted in 1969, it took the track world by storm with its innovation and performance – quickly earning the reputation as the “fast tracks”.  Over 4 decades later, Rekortan tracks not only carry on speed and tradition, they completely redefine it. The most advanced running surfaces in the world, Rekortan systems are simply unmatched for quality, technology, and of course, pure, blinding speed.

Rekortan has been a proud to be the official surface of The Penn Relays since 1988 when their first system was installed at Franklin Field. Every year since, the relays have been run on a Rekortan surface and countless records have been broken on this track that has a reputation for consistency and dependability.

The most recent installation of the surface occurred in 2015 when an exclusive Rekortan distributor, ATT Sports Inc., installed a Rekortan M99 System. The M99 track is a 15mm, impermeable, full pour system featuring three layers: a self-leveling fluid applied polyurethane coat, an innovative central force-reduction layer, and a fluid applied polyurethane topcoat with a dense matrix or broadcast EPDM rubber granule with no solvents or filler added. The system is fast for sprinters and kind to endurance athletes.

“It’s exciting to know that our track is under the soles of world-class athletes and that it is the preferred surface of The Penn Relays”, said Heard Smith, CEO of SportGroup North America. “We look forward to this event each year and celebrating 30 years as a sponsor makes this year even more special.”

The 2018 Penn Relays will be held Thursday through Saturday, April 26-28. Thursday, April 26 will feature High School Girls, College Women and Nighttime Distance Races
Friday, April 27 will feature High School Boys & Girls, College Men & Women and Olympic Development Races.  Saturday, April 28 will feature College Men & Women, High School Boys and USA vs. The World Races. A full schedule of events and detailed race times may be found at www.thepennrelays.com

 UPenn - Penn Relays Rekortan M99 2 UPenn - Penn Relays Rekortan M99

About Rekortan:
Designed for the current day athlete, the Rekortan track system is a diverse, world class series of polyurethane running tracks that are unmatched in quality and performance. The Rekortan debut in 1969 revolutionized the track world with quality and innovation, forever crowning our systems as “the fast tracks”.  Rekortan is part of the SportGroup, arguably the largest sports surfacing company in the world.

Rekortan Establishes Elite Track Team

The dictionary defines “Elite” as the choice or best of anything collectively, as of a group or class of persons. When Rekortan set forth to establish a team of elite runners they went after the choice or best that the sport had to offer.

Rekortan is proud to announce the formation of “Rekortan Elite”, a team of male and female runners that are well accomplished and at the top of their class. Rekortan Elite will be heavily involved in the sport of Track & Field at the highest global level. This international track team will be comprised of a men’s 4×100 relay team and an incredible women’s team of top class runners.  Please join us in welcoming the first two members of the team, Joanna Atkins and Ayana Walker. They will be running in their first races under the Rekortan banner at the USATF Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, NM during the weekend of February 16th through the 18th.

joanna atkins2Joanna Atkins ran track for Auburn University where in 2009 she took first place at the NCAA Women’s D1 Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the 400 meter dash and was also the Southeastern Conference Champion in the same event. Joanna has gold medaled in the 4×400 relay in the World Championships in Moscow in 2013, at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot Poland in 2014 and in the World Relay Championships in Nassau in 2014. She attended Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, GA.

Ayana_WalkerAyana Walker is one of the young, bright stars in the track world. She first obtained notoriety as an NCAA Champion when she won the women’s 400 meter national Indoor Track & Field title in 2015. In the prior year, Ayana was a two-time NCCAA national outdoor champion in the 400 meter dash and the 4×400 meter relay. The record book at Shorter University is loaded with Ayana’s honors and her long list of accomplishments also includes being named first team USTFCCCA All-American. Rekortan is pleased to have such amazing athletes on the “Elite” team.

“Some of the greatest runners in the sport today are recognizing Rekortan as the leader in performance, innovation and speed,” said Gary Wilson, Rekortan Global Executive VP. “The entire list of athletes that we will soon be announcing is going to be impressive by anyone’s standards.  This definitely sets Rekortan apart in the industry and demonstrates our commitment to Track & Field like no one else.”

Rekortan will be announcing the Men’s 4×100 Relay Team members in the next couple of weeks. The team will represent the brand in high profile races throughout 2018.  The Rekortan Elite team is expected to grow as more and more athletes look for any possible advantage to make them better and as they recognize the edge that training on a Rekortan track can give them. Rekortan systems are known as the fast tracks powered by speed!

 

About Rekortan:
Designed for the current day athlete, the Rekortan track system is a diverse, world class series of polyurethane running tracks that are unmatched in quality and performance. The Rekortan debut in 1969 revolutionized the track world with quality and innovation, forever crowning our systems as “the fast tracks”.

REKORTAN Welcomes Scott Byrd as College Segment Sales Manager

Dalton, GA – Rekortan is pleased to welcome Scott Byrd to its staff as College Segment Sales Manager for its track division. Scott brings a wealth of track knowledge and experience to his new career in the running tracks industry.

A native of Fayetteville, GA, Byrd is a graduate of Fayetteville High School where he was a four year letterer in football and track. Scott earned his degree from Jacksonville State University and in 1980 he was the national collegiate power lifting champion.  After college, Scott served as an IDEA Certified Trainer from 1987-2000 and is a professional member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

scott-byrd

Scott also coached at Velocity Sports where he was an assistant coach for Team Velocity. He is a USAW Club Coach and USAW Sports Performance certified. After Velocity Sports, Scott moved on to Shorter University and transformed the Hawk and Lady Hawk track and field programs into national powers and annual national championship contenders.

During his tenure at Shorter, the university won 18 individual national championships and in 2011 saw nine athletes win individual national championships resulting in the men’s double and the women posting program-best finishes of fifth and third at the NAIA Indoor and Outdoor National Championships. For his successes he was named both the 2011 NAIA Indoor and Outdoor National Coach of the Year.  He followed that year with another tremendous season, as the men were runners up at the NAIA Indoor Championships and the women successfully defended their Outdoor national crown. Byrd was named the NAIA Outdoor National Coach of the Year by his peers once again.

Shorter University, well established as a track and field powerhouse, quickly began piling up the championships under Byrd. Some of these include 90 individual national champions, over 75 All-Conference athletes, over 60 NAIA All-Americans, over 80 national qualifiers and one NAIA national record.  Scott’s impact on the sport, the athletes, and on the university he represented cannot be overstated.

He now looks to enjoy a different type of success within the sport by helping coaches, schools and athletes achieve their goals on a world class Rekortan track.

We are very pleased to add someone of Scott’s background and integrity to the Rekortan family,” said Gary Wilson, Vice President for Rekortan. “Scott is well connected in the track world and enjoys the respect of his fellow coaches. We’re ecstatic to bring him into the fold and get him out promoting the Rekortan brand to Colleges and Universities around the country.”

About Rekortan: Designed for the current day athlete, the Rekortan track system is a diverse, world class series of polyurethane running tracks that are unmatched in quality and performance. The Rekortan debut in 1969 revolutionized the track world with quality and innovation, forever crowning our systems as “the fast tracks”. Four decades have passed and the Rekortan name continues a tradition of excellence, representing the most technologically advanced running surfaces in the world. As the flagship running track brand of the sports surfacing giant Sportgroup, Rekortan has helped the Sportgroup earn more Class 1 and Class 2 IAAF certifications than any competitor across the globe.

The Municipality of Miraflores Inaugurates Two New Laykold Surfaces

In an effort to promote health and sports to the region, the Municipality of Miraflores in Lima Peru sought ways to rejuvenate two unused concrete sport slabs at Redondo Beach, in the beautiful Costa Verde area. The first sport slab being an official professional measurement, and the second slab being amateur measurement.

Team Laykold partner Menbel Sports, native to Peru, was quick to lend a hand in the effort, offering their installation services at no cost. APT – Advanced Polymer Technology, the manufacturer of Laykold acrylic court surfaces, also jumped in to assist on the project by donating all materials.

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In fact, Laykold is no stranger to the area. More than 15 years ago, one of the courts at Canchas Municipales de tenis was surfaced with Laykold. Of all the courts in the park, the Laykold court is still performing as though it were a brand new surface, even after almost 20 years!

Canchas Minicipales de tenis Miaraflores - 20 year old Laykold courts
Canchas Minicipales de tenis Miaraflores – 20 year old Laykold courts

 

 

 

Canchas Minicipales de tenis Miaraflores - 20 year old Laykold courts
Canchas Minicipales de tenis Miaraflores – 20 year old Laykold courts

 

Now that the installation is complete, these colorful new Laykold sports courts can be seen from the popular Larcomar shopping mall, located on the hillside just above.

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The Municipality of MiraFlores is thrilled with their new Laykold sport surfaces. During the inauguration at Redondo Beach, Mayor Jorge Munoz was quoted as saying, “The municipality is implementing different spaces through programs that promote physical activity, as well as a healthy lifestyle that contribute to the development of comprehensive health of people.”

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Laykold is happy to have assisted the town of Miraflores in the first of many sports projects to promote a happy and healthy lifestyle for the people in the local community! Congratulations on your new Laykold sport surfaces!

 

AstroTurf and APT Partner with U.S. Soccer Foundation

The U.S. Soccer Foundation announced that AstroTurf will join the Foundation as a national partner of its Safe Places to Play program. Through this partnership, both the Foundation and AstroTurf seek to grow the sport of soccer and positively impact communities throughout the U.S. by building synthetic turf fields across the country.

By building these fields, the Foundation and AstroTurf are working to increase the number of safe and accessible places where both youth and adults can play soccer. This partnership is part of the Foundation’s Safe Places to Play program, a field-building and enhancement program that creates safe playing spaces by transforming underutilized spaces into state-of-the-art soccer fields.

“Soccer is a vehicle for immense, positive social change. The efforts of the U.S. Soccer Foundation over the past 20 years provide children and aspiring players access to fields, acrylic courts and programming that makes a direct impact in local communities,” said AstroTurf Director of Soccer, Anthony DiCicco. He continued, “AstroTurf, by partnering, first, with the National Soccer Coaches’ Association of America (NSCAA) and now with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, is proud to provide support, resources and our 50-plus years of field-building expertise to these incredible organizations doing the work of improving soccer for all.”

“We are very excited to have AstroTurf as a national partner for the Foundation’s Safe Places to Play program,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “AstroTurf is a leader in synthetic turf and construction and we look forward to working together to give children safe environments where they can play soccer and enjoy the game’s many health and social benefits.”

As a national partner, AstroTurf will provide the means to assist non-profit organizations looking to build synthetic turf fields in their respective communities by supplying them with all necessary turf needs. Non-profit organizations can apply for Safe Places to Play grants from the Foundation to cover a portion of the costs of synthetic turf fields. The Spring 2017 cycle for these grants is now open for organizations, with letters of interest due February 3. Other Safe Places to Play grant opportunities for lighting, irrigation and sport court with national partners Musco Sports Lighting, Hunter Industries, and Sport Court are also available.

Organizations that do not receive a grant, but want to build a synthetic turf field in their community, can also work with the Foundation to get preferred pricing. For more information about the grants and preferred pricing, visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org/grants.

AstroTurf joins another SportGroup company, APT, as a National Partner of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. APT, using their Laykold Masters acrylic surfacing system, are underway building an estimated 500 courts across the country as part of a relationship that began in the Fall of 2015. Many urban areas across the country lack both space and a safe environment for children to play outside. APT’s Laykold Masters surfacing system has been used nationwide to turn abandoned spaces into colorful, fun places for children to enjoy sports activities.

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BEFORE
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About the U.S. Soccer Foundation

The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @ussoccerfndn and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ussoccerfoundation.

 

About AstroTurf®

For athletes and soccer enthusiasts, AstroTurf® is redefining how synthetic soccer fields are built and perform. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of clubs, high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf’s LigaTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit the company’s recently redesigned website, www.astroturf.com/soccer. For questions or inquiries, contact Anthony DiCicco at adicicco@astroturf.com.

 

About APT and Laykold®

The Laykold family of systems are acrylic sports surfaces that can be customized to achieve the desired performance, playability and appearance, making it an incredibly cost-effective way to breathe new life into asphalt or concrete surfaces. Low maintenance and resurfacing costs can extend a court’s playing life or transform it completely. Laykold is manufactured in APT’s ISO 9001 and 14001 certified factory in Harmony PA. APT is a global leader in the development and manufacture of innovative, high performance and environmentally friendly sports and recreational surfacing systems. For more information, visit www.laykold.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laykold – Surface of Choice for Nike Stanton Street Courts by KAWS

The Project:

APT’s Laykold Masters was chosen as the surface for Nike’s latest campaign New York Made.  Working in partnership with the New York City Parks and Rec Department, Nike kicked off this campaign with two new courts on Stanton Street, inside Sara D. Roosevelt Park.

But these aren’t just any courts…. These courts were designed by Brian Donnelly, professionally known as KAWS, a New York-based artist of limited edition toys and clothing. Some of his achievements over the years include the design of MTV’s Moon Man statue for the MTV Video Music Awards, various magazine covers, as well as cover art and merchandise designs for high profile recording artists such as Kanye West and Pharrell Williams.

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Making It Happen:

Laykold has a strong reputation in the sports court market, including being the surface of the Miami Open since 1984. Teamed with APT’s expert technical and customer service staff, the decision was simple, and the Laykold Masters Gel system was chosen as the preferred surface.

Time was definitely of the essence for this project. APT’s Product Manager, Wesley Baum, worked directly with the artist and matched twenty seven custom colors in only a few days!

APT’s production facility ran two crews on ten hour shifts, in order produce and ship the custom colors as they were approved. This kept the installation team, long time Laykold partner Ace Surfaces of Altamonte Springs FL, working continuously. The turn around time for the base material components and twenty seven custom matched top coat colors was only 11 days! But the action certainly didn’t stop there…

Making Art Come To Life:

As APT’s staff was working to match and produce the material, Ace Surfaces was hard at work with surface preparations on site as well as preparing the design. “Due to the complexity of the artwork, the design had to be transferred from a drawing to CAD, and from CAD onto the court using Laser Mapping technology,” said Kyle Smallwood of Ace Surfaces.

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After the surface preparations and base layers were installed, came the detail work. Ace Surface’s crew used just under five miles of tape to mask out the design on the court!

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Smallwood said, “We had over one thousand man hours, from Ace Surface’s crew alone, in the painting and surface install of the court.” The entire installation, from milling up the asphalt to project completion was only eighteen days!

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Another top-notch project that will go down in APT and Laykold history!

Nobody covers the court like Laykold!

Jessica McManus

Photo credits: Nike and Ace Surfaces

APT / SportGroup Acquires ProGrass from Rockwell

SportGroup Holding Consolidates Position in Artificial Turf Market with Pittsburgh’s ProGrass

Pittsburgh, PA, October 18, 2016 – SportGroup Holding, today announced that it has acquired Pittsburgh-based ProGrass, one of the nation’s leading brands of artificial turf. By adding ProGrass to its existing portfolio of companies and brands (which includes APT, Astroturf, Melos, Polytan, Poligras and Rekortan), SportGroup expands its North America presence and further consolidates its position as a global leader in the sport surfacing market. The acquisition will strengthen SportGroup’s proven combination of its worldwide existing contractor network and directly targeted activities to new levels for the better of the industry.prograss-acquisition

SportGroup, founded in 1969, is the world leader in artificial turf systems and running tracks, with over 1,000 employees and $375 million annual revenue (2015). The company operates in more than 70 countries, maintains production plants in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region and has manufactured and installed more than 7,000 fields and 16,000 tracks including the Olympic games and international venues.

The purchase of ProGrass, a major supplier to both amateur and professional teams, solidifies SportGroup’s direct access to the North American athletic market. As consultants and sponsors to Soccer, Football and Baseball, “The addition of the ProGrass team will bring us closer to the sport and enable us to better service the needs of our customers,” say Heard Smith and Andreas M. Schulze Ising, Managing Directors of SportGroup Americas, “by bringing the industry into a new era with our German engineered, American made, modern, environmentally friendly, tailor made sport surfacing products.”

“The synergy created by the ProGrass team joining the SportGroup family will now enable the North American Organization to provide a “One-Stop Shop” for athletic fields,” said Robert Thomas, President of ProGrass, “further enabling us to serve more venues as well as enhancing SportGroup’s design-build capabilities and go-to market strategy for North America. This is truly a ‘win-win-win’ strategy for SportGroup, ProGrass and the entire North American sports community.”

The acquisition by the SportGroup forges a team of sports surfacing companies that are focused on introducing the most cutting edge technologies. Together, the complementary brands offer more selections to clients, including:

  • More FIFA, FIH, and World Rugby-certified systems and pitches than ever before
  • Highly evolved American Football turf system selections
  • Top-tier Olympic and World Cup field hockey surfaces
  • Industry-leading baseball and softball systems
  • Legendary running track brands from APT, including Rekortan
  • Largest and most efficient installation force worldwide
  • Leading EPDM rubber manufacturing from Melos

ProGrass will expand on bringing SportGroups products to their clients, which are manufactured in the United States in fully vertically integrated, advanced manufacturing facilities. In addition, all employees will remain with the organization, providing stability for its clients.  SportGroup will honor existing and future warranties on ProGrass installations in North America.

About ProGrass:prograsslogo_green_rhino-small-cropped

For over a decade, ProGrass, a Pittsburgh-based manufacturer famous for its nationally known “Rocky” Mascot, has provided America’s finest synthetic turf solutions for every level of performance demands through innovative product development, design-build services, project management, construction, installation and proactive maintenance. The company has built its success on the principles of Excellence, exceeding industry standards, Professionalism, committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct and Teamwork, valuing all of our employee’s talents, skills and abilities. To learn more, visit www.prograssturf.com.

About SportGroup: sportgroup_logo-small-cropped

SportGroup is a global market leader of outdoor sport and recreational surface systems. SportGroup installs artificial turf fields and tracks and manufactures all system critical components in-house. SportGroup has three main product groups (artificial turf, tracks and playground) used in a variety of applications. The business benefits from its unique system competence, leading technology and a strong market position, especially in Germany. For more information, visit www.sportgroup-holding.com.

AstroTurf Sale to SportGroup Finalized

sports-groupAll Brand Logo - AstroTurf APT

Dalton, GA, August 19, 2016 – The sale of AstroTurf® to SportGroup® Holdings has closed, creating arguably the largest outdoor sports surfacing company in the world.  The sale was approved on Friday, August 12, 2016 and closed Friday, August 19, 2016.  AstroTurf products and services will be marketed by the newly formed company AstroTurf Corporation.  By adding AstroTurf, SYNlawn®, and the related manufacturing operations to its portfolio of companies and brands (which includes Polytan®, APT®, Melos®, Rekortan®, Laykold® and Poligras®), SportGroup is well positioned to continue its global leadership of the sports surfacing industry.

SportGroup, founded in 1969, is a global leader in artificial turf systems and running tracks.  Prior to the acquisition of AstroTurf and related turf entities, SportGroup reported a >€340 million annual turnover (2015) and around 1,000 employees. The company maintains production plants in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region and operates in more than 70 countries. It has manufactured and installed more than 7,000 fields and 16,000 tracks. It is a supplier of synthetic turf fields to the Olympic Games, including Rio (2016).

This acquisition enhances SportGroup and AstroTurf’s strength, size, stability, and manufacturing capacity, positioning the team for rapid growth.  The purchase provides SportGroup direct access to North American athletic turf customers through AstroTurf, a proven American brand with a 50 year history. AstroTurf will play a leading role in SportGroup’s go to market strategy for North America and beyond.

SportGroup will retain all AstroTurf’s technologies, processes, products, intellectual property, and personnel. Adding AstroTurf to the portfolio of SportGroup brands and companies brings greater stability to sports facilities and the industry as a whole.

“We are welcoming AstroTurf to our team,” stated Andreas M. Schulze Ising, CEO & President of APT Advanced Polymer Technology Corp., “to create the only all encompassing sport systems company in the world to finally service each and every sport with the complete range of surface solutions.”

“Becoming a SportGroup company elevates the AstroTurf brand and enables us to bring even more innovations to market,” said, Heard Smith, Chief Executive Officer of AstroTurf and the rest of the Turf Division.  “The union of these brands ushers in the next era of sophisticated sports surfacing for today’s highly trained athletes.”

AstroTurf and other SportGroup companies together forge a team of sports surfacing experts that is focused on introducing the most cutting edge technologies. The alliance fosters global cooperation in research and development initiatives and offers more benefits to clients, including:

  • More FIFA, FIH, and World Rugby-certified systems and pitches than ever before
  • Highly evolved American Football turf systems selections
  • Top-tier Olympic and World Cup field hockey surfaces
  • Industry-leading baseball and softball systems
  • More RootZone® products and installations than any other provider on the market
  • Legendary running track brands from APT, including Rekortan®
  • Largest and most efficient installation force worldwide
  • Leading EPDM rubber manufacturing from Melos
  • Leading tennis court surface systems from APT, including Laykold®
  • Most advanced “green” technologies from APT, including TuftGuard® and Qualipur® adhesives

Frank Dittrich, Chief Executive Officer of SportGroup, noted, “AstroTurf is perhaps the most iconic brand in sports.  It adds tremendous value to SportGroup and its future as the global leader in outdoor sports surfacing.”

AstroTurf® fields will continue to be manufactured in the United States in the company’s own vertically integrated, advanced manufacturing facilities, which now benefit from expanded capacity since the acquisition.  In addition, all employees will remain with the organization, providing stability for clients and distributors.

About SportGroup®

SportGroup® is a worldwide market leader of outdoor sport and recreational surface systems. SportGroup® installs artificial turf fields and tracks and manufactures all system critical components in-house. SportGroup® has three main product groups (artificial turf, engineered surfaces including running track systems and playground as well as industrial products including adhesives and coatings through APT) used in a variety of applications. The business benefits from its unique system competence, leading technology and its unique global market position. For more information, visit www.sportgroup-holding.com and www.advpolytech.com.

About AstroTurf®

For athletes and sport enthusiasts, AstroTurf® has redefined the way the game is played. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety.  To learn more, visit the company’s recently redesigned website, www.astroturf.com.

Judge Approves Astro Turf Sale

Stech, Katy (2016, August 15) Judge Approves $16 Million Astro Turf Sale. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://www.wsj.com/

All Brand Logo - AstroTurf APT

Judge Approves $16 Million AstroTurf Sale

Competitor APT Advanced Polymer Technology cleared to take over AstroTurf’s Georgia-based marketing operations

A bankruptcy judge has cleared a competitor of AstroTurf LLC to take over its Georgia-based marketing operations, which struggled after the company lost a $30 million patent dispute last year.

With his signature, Judge Paul Bonapfel approved the roughly $16.1 million sale agreement between AstroTurf and an affiliate of APT Advanced Polymer Technology Corp., a competitor based outside of Pittsburgh.

AstroTurf lawyers proposed to sell the Dalton, Ga., company, which markets and sells artificial turf products to university athletic departments and sports facilities, after putting its operations into chapter 11 protection on June 28.

The filing halted its legal battle with another competitor, FieldTurf USA Inc. FieldTurf officials accused AstroTurf of infringing on its patent for artificial turf products in a 2010 federal lawsuit. In October, a jury awarded $30 million in damages to FieldTurf.

“The patent litigation and adverse publicity regarding the verdict have caused substantial disruption to the business,” AstroTurf lawyers said in earlier documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Rome, Ga. “FieldTurf and [AstroTurf] compete almost daily for customers and new business, and the [company] believes that FieldTurf is using the patent litigation to deter potential customers from entering into contracts…for the purchase and installation of synthetic turf surfaces.”

The court-approved sale is part of a broader, $92.5 million deal that enables APT Advanced Polymer Technology to take over three AstroTurf-related businesses that haven’t filed for bankruptcy protection. That includes its research and development division and Synthetic Turf Resources, which manufactures the athletic turf.

The four businesses are owned by Textile Management Associates Inc., which holds a majority stake.

In court papers, AstroTurf called itself a “leading innovator” in the industry for synthetic turf, which was invented in 1964. Founded in 2003, AstroTurf became popular through sponsorship agreements it made with athletic conferences and sports organizations, enabling the company to pay an annual fee in exchange for the exposure.

AstroTurf officials said it relies on a network of sales people and distributors who negotiate the exclusive rights to sell AstroTurf products in a geographic area. AstroTurf itself employed 54 people at the time of the filing.

*The full article is available at http://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-approves-16-million-astroturf-sale-1471286131

 

AstroTurf and SYNLawn Brands Join APT and SportGroup

Sport Group & AstroTurf Header

APT Advanced Polymer Technology’s business as a member of SportGroup® has some exciting news:

After a period of remarkable growth, the time has come for the next chapter in the history of the SportGroup®, and indeed of the sports surfacing industry.  In order to complete the line-up of products and systems, the AstroTurf® and SYNLawn® brands will join the SportGroup. We will be able to truly support American clients as a full service provider of sport and recreation turf.

I have been employed with the SportGroup® since 2009, having had the privilege of serving as President and Chief Operating Officer of APT Advanced Polymer Technology Corp. in Harmony, Pennsylvania.  Over the last several years, I have witnessed an unparalleled growth in the sport surfacing market, especially the athletic sport turf and landscape turf segments. It has been extremely gratifying to see the hard work of our and AstroTurf’s sales, installation and R&D teams pay off and to be able to finally join forces to become the quality leader in America.

This acquisition comes at the right time and will create one of the largest outdoor sports surfacing companies in the world. Not only that, it forges a team of dedicated sports surfacing brands that is focused on introducing the most cutting edge technologies.  Together, the complementary brands offer more selections to clients, including:

  • More FIFA, FIH, and World Rugby-certified systems and pitches than ever beforeAll Brand Logo - AstroTurf APT
  • Highly evolved American Football turf systems selections
  • Top-tier Olympic and World Cup field hockey surfaces
  • Industry-leading baseball and softball systems
  • More RootZone® products and installations than any other provider on the market
  • Legendary running track brands from APT Advanced Polymer Technology (APT), including Rekortan®
  • Largest and most efficient installation force worldwide
  • Leading EPDM rubber manufacturing from Melos®
  • Leading tennis court surface systems from APT, including Laykold®
  • Most advanced “green” technologies from APT, including TuftGuard® and Qualipur® adhesives

SportGroup, founded in 1969, is a global leader in artificial turf systems and running tracks, with a >€340 million annual turnover (2015) and around 1,000 employees. The company maintains production plants in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region and operates in more than 70 countries. It has manufactured and installed more than 7,000 fields and 16,000 tracks. It is a supplier of both fields and tracks to the Olympic Games. Its leading core companies include Polytan®, APT®, Melos®, with brands like Rekortan®, Spurtan®, GridIron®, LigaTurf®, Supergrasse®, Poligras®, Dynapoint® and Laykold®.

The union of these global brands will usher in the next era of sophisticated sports surfacing for today’s highly trained athletes.

We look forward to all this partnership has in store! As always, our sales reps across the country and our team in Harmony, Pennsylvania and the new team in Dalton, Georgia, are available to answer any questions. Please don’t hesitate to contact your regional representative or Sydney Stahlbaum at 512-423-5164/ sstahlbaum@astroturf.com for more information.

Sincerely,

Andreas M. Schulze Ising

President/CEO

Sport Group & AstroTurf Footer