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.

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

APT Partners With U.S. Soccer Foundation

APT is proud to announce a new partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation.

Many urban areas across the country lack both space and a safe environment for children to play outside. The U.S. Soccer Foundation provides grants to organizations to help them build or enhance field space within their communities. To date, the foundation has helped to create over 1,100 safe places for children nationwide.

APT (Advanced Polymer Technology ) has teamed up with the U.S. Soccer Foundation to help build on this momentum. Over the next five years, APT’s Laykold Masters acrylic surfacing system will be the official surface of an estimated 500 mini-pitches to be constructed nationwide. Laykold Masters partner, Ace Surfaces of Altamonte Springs FL, has been an instrumental part in bringing APT and U.S. Soccer Foundation together and will facilitate the construction of this nationwide project.

APT is a global leader in high performance sports surfaces. From Olympic stadiums to your own backyard, APT provides people around the world with safe, reliable, performance enhancing surfaces.

For more information on APT’s Laykold Masters, please click here.

The U.S. Soccer Foundation serves as the major charitable arm of soccer in the United States. The Foundation is a leader in sports-based youth development and is using soccer as a vehicle for social change among youth in urban areas.

For more information about the U.S. Soccer Foundation and the various programs that they offer, please visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org .

Laykold LM Color After (1)Foundation_Logo