Q&A: Covermaster’s Ken Curry

Covermaster provides sport surface covers for clients from across the world. While other companies offer sport surface covers as a sideline business, these covers are Covermaster’s specialty.

Ken Curry, president of Covermaster, explains to us how the company’s products, such as Evergreen Frost Covers and Germination Blankets, can help aid stadium operations. What benefits do your products offer over other similar products that may be in the marketplace?

Ken Curry: “Evergreen turf covers are incredibly valuable for groundsmen who are looking to keep their pitch in great shape all year round – even in winter months. These blankets are both frost covers and germination blankets, meaning they function as a two-in-one solution, reducing the number of covers needing to be purchased, pulled and stored.

“Even though they serve more than one purpose, these covers are very lightweight – more so than the competition – making them easier for the grounds team to handle. On top of this, Evergreen covers are the only covers in the industry that have Smart Edge Technology, which allows the covers to be cut on-site to any size or configuration with only a pair of scissors.

“Smart Edge Technology means that cutting anywhere on the cover, such as slits in the middle of a section for goal posts, will not unravel the material or have its integrity compromised in any other way. Evergreen turf covers therefore allow for a cover that is truly a custom fit for its pitch.

“Evergreen turf blankets are made from high density polyethylene and are translucent and porous, allowing light, air, and moisture to pass through in both directions, to keep the environment underneath the cover perfect for your pitch. This promotes the growth of stronger turf with deep root growth and creates a green-up effect that will make your turf appear ‘magically’ green after the blankets are pulled off at the end of winter.”

TSB: And how about pitch covers specifically?

KC: “Covermaster surpasses the competition when it comes to the weight and strength of the pitch covers. Our covers are far lighter and still have higher strength characteristics than other pitch covers.

“Covermaster also does not only offer one type of cover – depending on your application and budget, you are sure to find a cover that perfectly suits your needs from the wide range of pitch covers.

“If you are considering getting a pitch cover but are concerned about the possibility of light passing through the cover and burning your turf, then you can rest assured that Covermaster covers are for you, as the pitch covers have black internal tapes that block out light from penetrating the cover to the ground below.

“Another clear advantage will be clear to anyone who has ever had to pull a pitch cover, and it comes in the form of handles on the covers. Covermaster pitch covers are supplied with the strongest reinforced handles in the industry, making grounds teams’ jobs easier and leaving them rest assured that they will not simply rip off during a routine cover pull.”

TSB: Could you provide any specific examples of best use of these products with clients, and the benefits they have gained from using them?

KC: “Covermaster can be found in every part of the world, with products widely used in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. For instance, Real Madrid CF (Spain) and the Green Bay Packers (USA) use Evergreen Radiant covers to keep their pitch healthy. Larkin Stadium (Malaysia) and the New England Patriots (USA) use pitch covers to prevent the oversaturation of their pitches, ensuring dry surfaces for better foot traction.

“In terms of Evergreen, customers repeatedly tell us that their Evergreen turf covers ‘are the only way they can play games in the late autumn and early spring’ (Daniel Farnes, Real Salt Lake, USA) and ‘allow healthy turf to push through damage in cooler weather’ (Scott Lupold, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, USA).

“Raincover owners say that these covers save games. A bad cover can be just as bad as no cover at all when it comes to keeping water off the pitch before matches. Covermaster covers help to ensure that your pitch stays dry, meaning that the match can go on!”

TSB: How big a factor is climate change in terms of the necessity for stadia to use products such as these?

KC: “Climate change has resulted in less predictable weather. Wet weather and vicious winters have become regular occurrences. Pitch covers are therefore incredibly valuable insofar as they prevent excess water or snow from reaching the pitch’s surface, meaning that such an important asset will not suffer irreparable damage caused by over saturation.

“Evergreen can perfectly complement this effort by strengthening the turf and therefore making it more resilient to undesirable weather, as well as providing proven frost protection on a regular basis. Additionally, Evergreen helps to regulate the environment underneath the cover, meaning that it dampens the effects of more volatile, less predictable weather on a day-to-day basis.”

TSB: Looking forward, what do you see as the next big advances in terms of pitch cover technology?

KC: “Covermaster is always at the forefront of R&D with pitch covers and their respective handling solutions. The industry evolution of pitch covers from canvas, to vinyl, to lightweight polyethylene solutions can be attributed to the continuous efforts of Covermaster to bring new and innovative solutions to the industry.

“Whether it be new materials, inflatable and automated solutions, or simply advanced handling systems, Covermaster will most likely be responsible for the introduction of the next generation of solutions.”

Covermaster is a sponsor of this year’s TheStadiumBusiness Summit, which will take place at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester on November 30 and December 1. Click here to meet them.