Rich, you have been in the business of synthetic turf for a long time, tell us about your journey to AstroTurf.
Well, I’ve been in the sports industry, really my entire career. Going back to 1987. I worked with the Detroit Pistons in the Palace of Auburn Hills organization for eight and half years, and then got into the golf industry and the had opportunity to start a small little boutique turf company back at the end of 2002. That was really my entry into the synthetic turf industry. Fast forward to 2006 and we have an opportunity to start representing the AstroTurf brand. When you think about having your hands, your skills, your passion behind an iconic brand, not only in the synthetic turf industry, but in the sports landscape of America, its truly humbling and really exciting.
That’s awesome. If you had to pick one, what would you point to as the single biggest cause for the growth of AstroTurf?
Our commitment to assembling a world-class team of experienced professionals, not only from the sales standpoint, which has been my focus, but from every angle. When you look at our manufacturing capabilities, our installation teams, our design, our innovation. Really, our everything across the board. Of how we reach to a customer. Of how we engage with the design professional community. We are there to provide great products, innovative solutions, and put them in correctly and then we service the heck out of him after the sale.
Well said. Speaking of longevity. Tell us what does the future look like for AstroTurf. What do you see for the brand in the next five years?
That’s a great question. As a senior management team, we are challenged by our ownership to look ahead. We do have a definite 5-year plan. When you look at the resources that we’ve been able to harness as a part of SportGroup, you consider that not only do we have the iconic AstroTurf brand, but we also have the original synthetic running track brand in Rekortan. We have the original synthetic court surface in Laykold. Couple all of that with arguably the number one commercial landscape group in SYNLawn, all of that now falls under AstroTurf Corporation North America. In our plan, in what we have in place today, is moving those brands forward together. We can come onto a campus now, or come to any customer, and provide them with an athletic surface – residential services, tracks, courts or golf related services. So, it is an all-encompassing approach to providing them with tremendous resources in one place. All of that being done by our own construction teams, our own certified installers, and a network of certified partners throughout the country – including captive distributors who only represent AstroTurf, only represent Rekortan and some of which also represent SYNLawn.
Our reach across the country now, with 28 crews that are deployed out of our Dalton office, our five regional hubs, really gives us a reach that is something that others cannot compete with quite frankly not of the quality level that we provide.