SOURCE: OTSP

December 18, 2006 18:27 ET

Repeat: AstroTurf Brand to Re-Launch as GeneralSports Venue Announces Exclusive Marketing Partnership

Synthetic Turf's Most Legendary Name Spearheading Innovation With New, Proprietary Technologies

ROCHESTER, MI -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 18, 2006 -- On December 12, everything you know about AstroTurf® will be history. At a special event in New York City, GENERALSPORTS VENUE (GSV) of Rochester, Mich., will announce the restaging and re-launch of the iconic AstroTurf brand. The event at the ESPN Zone in Times Square will celebrate AstroTurf's 40-plus-year history, its legacy of innovation, and its return as a leader in the industry it pioneered. Sports media, team and league executives from the New York area, and representatives of the City of New York, will join other guests as legendary quarterback Archie Manning is introduced as the spokesperson for AstroTurf, ushering in a new era for the brand.

"AstroTurf is not only back, it is back to reclaim its position as the most technologically advanced synthetic sports turf in the world," said Jon Pritchett, CEO of GSV. "This is the brand that invented synthetic turf, and now it is the brand that is taking synthetic turf to the next level once again."

FOR B-ROLL, INTERVIEWS, AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION VISIT

http://www.onthescene.com/mnr/astroturf/astroturf.htm

Patented by Monsanto in 1965, AstroTurf was the world's first synthetic turf used as a sports playing surface, gaining worldwide attention when it was installed at the Houston Astrodome in 1966. With more than 3,000 installations and over 150 million square feet of turf in more than 50 countries, American-made AstroTurf is a brand with global recognition. The brand's reintroduction is designed to position AstroTurf as the industry's premier product developer and manufacturer, representing a level of quality, technical engineering, sustainability and performance that is second to none.

SRI Sports, which owned the AstroTurf® brand, went into bankruptcy in February of 2004. Shortly thereafter the assets and intellectual property were purchased by Textile Management and Associates, a 35-year-old, family owned textile manufacturing group based in Dalton, Georgia.

The partnership between GSV, a sports facilities and turf specialty company, and AstroTurf, LLC includes an agreement giving GSV the exclusive sales and marketing rights to the legendary AstroTurf brand. GSV will be the exclusive AstroTurf® marketing partner in the U.S. for all current and future AstroTurf-branded products developed specifically for the sports market.

The new, custom-engineered polyethylene and nylon turf systems currently available from AstroTurf include proprietary innovations that no other turf brands offer. Field systems for football, soccer, baseball, lacrosse and general use will be offered by GSV under the AstroTurf® GameDay Grass and PureGrass™ product lines. AstroTurf 12®, the world's leading field hockey turf brand, and AstroTurf engineered conversion systems (indoor or outdoor) will also be marketed by GSV.

Both GameDay Grass (polyethylene, infilled) and PureGrass (nylon, no fill required) are available with AstroTurf's proprietary Root Zone® technology. The Root Zone is a simulated thatch layer at the base of the tufted (or knitted) turf, replicating the stabilizing underlayer of root fibers in natural grass fields. This technology can be used in combination with an infill component or without any infill material.

"We're very proud these two reputable companies are spearheading the innovation in the synthetic turf industry," said Pritchett. "Our goal is to leverage AstroTurf's significant design, engineering and manufacturing strengths with GSV's marketing and service expertise to create exciting new sports field products that provide custom solutions and a greater customer value experience."

The rebranding of AstroTurf includes a new logo and sales materials, consumer and trade outreach, promotion and sponsorship initiatives, print and broadcast advertising, Web site development, and the enlistment of former NFL MVP Archie Manning as the brand's public endorser. As part of the endorsement, GSV will partner with the Manning Passing Academy, a summer football camp in Thibodaux, La., conducted by Manning and his sons, Cooper, Peyton and Eli. GSV is contributing a new AstroTurf surface to a field installation at Nicholls State University, which hosts the camp.

"AstroTurf is one of the most recognized brands in all of sports, and their new turf products are the best in the business," said Manning, "I am excited to be part of the all-American AstroTurf team, and thrilled about AstroTurf's contribution to Nicholls State and their support for the Manning Passing Academy. I can tell you from first-hand experience; this is not your father's AstroTurf."

Along with the introduction of Manning on December 12, AstroTurf will use the press event in New York to celebrate the brand's relationship with the city. Representatives of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office are expected to acknowledge the significant contributions AstroTurf has made to New York City parks and schools, citing several new field installations either open, under construction or currently being designed. GSV will also announce a national consumer promotion to send winners to the 2007 college football national championship game between Ohio State and Florida in Glendale, Ariz. on January 8.

In keeping with its legacy of innovation, AstroTurf has emerged as a worldwide industry leader in the implementation of sustainable resources and eco-friendly practices, including the use of reduced-petroleum backings, post consumer products, renewable resources and advanced synthetic systems that are better for the environment. The environmental benefits of synthetic turf (eliminating the need for pesticides, fertilizers and gasoline-powered mowers) together with the economic benefits of minimal required maintenance, extended usage and consistent performance, are among the primary reasons so many high schools, colleges and municipalities across the U.S. are opting for synthetic systems.

Further innovation from GSV includes an exclusive, first-to-market agreement with the developers of a Sports Antimicrobial System (SAS), a groundbreaking antimicrobial sports surface treatment protecting athletes from bacterial infections such as staph and MRSA. Several major colleges and professional sports teams have already implemented the technology, including the Virginia Tech Hokies, South Carolina Gamecocks, Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Heat. As part of this emerging technology, AstroTurf fields will be exclusively manufactured with TurfAide, a layer of antimicrobial protection that uses the Aegis Microbe Shield technology to protect the turf system against a variety of bacteria, mold and fungi.

Based in Michigan and with executive offices in Raleigh, North Carolina and San Diego, GSV (www.generalsportsvenue.com) offers a range of integrated services for sports venue owners, operators and developers. GSV's professional services include project development, design, estimating, finance, revenue generation, program management, construction, and operations for sports venues. Aided by its sports turf division, GSV has been among the fastest growing companies in the sports construction industry.

Please visit www.AstroTurfUSA.com.

Contact Information

  • To schedule an interview with GSV CEO Jon Pritchett, contact:
    Charles Upchurch
    Email Contact
    (919) 277-1147
    (919) 395-1588 cell