If companies and local governments focused more on the purpose of facilitating sports, they would quickly realise they should invest more in synthetic turf.
Four months into 2022, Christian Rose of Powerleague has no doubt sports facilities can be commercially viable, providing the investment recognises its purpose. “It is all about re-engaging society and the workforce, and achieving a healthy society where people collaborate and are keen to achieve something together. A sports facility contributes to their mental and physical health,” the CEO of Powerleague says.
Powerleague is the world’s oldest and biggest commercial provider of small-sided football.
“The desire for people to play sports is massive. We had people breaking into our facilities that were closed down during the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance with national legislation, just to play a game of 5-a-side. However, while this desire comes naturally, it is essential that the quality of facilities provided complements accordingly.”
The company has 41 clubs across Europe and works with numerous other facilities and sites to facilitate small-sided games.
“All our clubs use third-generation synthetic turf pitches that have been fitted with kickboards and are illuminated with LED floodlights. The importance of these investments is often not recognised enough. However, failing doing so will, eventually, result in just one outcome, and that is losing customers.” Rose knows what he is talking about. “The first thing we changed once I was appointed as CEO was placing the purpose first. If you don’t do that, your final result will be like adding lipstick to a gorilla that wants to look pretty.”
It’s a philosophy that has paid off.
“Our usage capacity has shot up from 48% to 98%, despite the fact that most facilities were closed down during the pandemic.”
Before a facility is accepted, its condition is thoroughly assessed. “We work closely together with SIS Pitches to ensure the synthetic turf fields are of the highest quality. If needs be, we’ll replace the top layer, as we are well aware that a realistic look and feel are essential for the players.” SIS Pitches also provides the maintenance equipment as well as the maintenance schedule that management will have to follow.
Christian Rose will explain his concept and his thoughts about the importance of investing in synthetic turf during AMI’s upcoming Grass Yarn and Tufters Forum. The event will take place 2-4 May in Barcelona.