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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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

CSU vs. NGU – SC Showdown on Gridiron!

Football season has finally arrived! Last night, Charleston Southern University beat North Greenville University in a South Carolina showdown on their brand new APT Gridiron RS+52 field! Gridiron is the preferred surface of both schools.

APT and Gridiron wish both CSU and NGU a successful 2015/2016 season!

Charleston Southern - Gridiron RS+52T (5 Web)

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Charleston Southern University – Phase 1 Gridiron RS+52 Football Field

The project is underway at Charleston Southern University! The university selected the complete APT package for the revamp of Buccaneer Field. Phase 1, going on now, is the installation of an APT Gridiron RS+52 football field. Following the field installation, Phase 2 will be the installation of a Rekortan M99 running track.

Nothing but the best for the Bucs! APT’s football turf has been installed at facilities such as the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice facility in 2013, Chicago Bears’ Walter Payton indoor facility, and the University of Alabama’s Hank Crisp Indoor Football Center. APT’s Rekortan M99 running track has been installed at several Olympic venues, Good Will Games, and has been the official surface of the Penn Relays since 1988!

CSU head coach Jamey Chadwell said, “We chose APT for our field turf because of their stat-of-the-art technology and extensive experience. Their product will allow us to have a playing surface that is of top-notch quality with exceptional performance. I have no doubt in my mind that we will have the best playing surface in the country going forward.” Click here to read what CSU has to say about the project.

Check out the Gridiron field installation pictures below. Remember to stay tuned to APT’s newsfeed and Facebook page for updates on the Rekortan M99 installation at CSU.

Charleston Southern - Gridiron RS+52T (6 Web) Charleston Southern - Gridiron RS+52T (1 Web) Charleston Southern - Gridiron RS+52T (2 Web) Charleston Southern - Gridiron RS+52T (3 Web) Charleston Southern - Gridiron RS+52T (4 Web) Charleston Southern - Gridiron RS+52T (5 Web)