Q&A: Signature Systems’ Tony Booth

Image: Signature Systems

We caught up with Tony Booth, vice-president of sales in the UK and EMEA at Signature Systems, a leading manufacturer of composite construction mats, stadium turf protection and portable event flooring.

The company has worked on several major events over the years and lists venues such as London Stadium and SoFi Stadium among its client base… For readers unfamiliar with the company, can you give a brief background on Signature Systems’ formation and the services it provides?

Tony Booth: “Signature Systems is proudly celebrating 25 years of growth and innovation this year. Signature Systems has engineered, manufactured and distributed turf protection systems worldwide. Our interlocking, modular panels provide quality protection of natural, synthetic and hybrid turf and other sensitive surfaces during major entertainment events, including the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, European Games, Asian Games and more.

“Signature is based in Dallas, Texas with a manufacturing facility in Orlando, Florida. The company is committed to the highest standards of quality with products made in the USA using sustainable material sourcing, efficient modes of production, fair employment practices and safe facility management.”

TSB: What clients does Signature have in the stadium and arena sector? What major events are you currently working on?

TB: “Signature’s turf protection systems are trusted by stadia and arenas all around the world, including: Baku Olympic Stadium, US Bank Stadium (pictured below), Tropicana Field, SoFi Stadium, Puskas Arena, London Stadium, Gillette Stadium (main picture), VenuesLive Australia, Jakarta National Stadium, Aspire (Qatari Government for the World Cup in 2022), and many others.

“We are actively working with Paris 2024 and LA28 and the market continues to grow as stadia know they need alternative revenue streams outside of the sport they host.”

TSB: How does Signature’s OmniDeck protection system work?

TB: “OmniDeck and Matrax (who we acquired in late 2020) are both known for strength, speed and longevity. OmniDeck features a unique puzzle piece design that can be installed in many directions simultaneously and deployed around fixed objects like goal posts and walls.

“The portable flooring panels install quickly with a simple interlocking connection system. Its ease of use and lightweight design helps reduce labour costs, and improve turnaround times, which means stadia owners have been able to increase their revenue for non-sporting events such as concerts, truck shows, festivals and fan zones.”

TSB: What do you feel are the emerging trends in the matting systems sector?

TB: “The biggest trend we’ve seen is an increased demand for a driveable turf protection system that is quick and easy to install. When a stadium opts to use a drivable turf protection system, it helps increase operational efficiencies.

“The stable, reliable support makes it easier to place event equipment, stages, sound systems, etc. anywhere in the stadia. Then, when it’s time to flip the venue back to a sports arena, forklifts, trucks and cranes can access the entire field of play. Additionally, using a system that’s easy for crews to install reduces labour and training costs, and decreases turnaround times.”

TSB: How did the pandemic impact the business? And has it changed the products/services required by your clients?

TB: “During the pandemic, sporting and entertainment venues had to be able to quickly adapt due to capacity limits and the need for safe social distancing. Because our turf protection systems can be used indoors and out, we were able to provide a safe, temporary flooring solution to customers that transitioned to hosting their events outdoors.

“Coincidently, OmniDeck measures 1.8 m x 0.9m x 3.8 cm, which made marking off 1.8m of safe space easy.”

TSB: What are the current areas of focus for the company? Are there any new territories the company is looking to expand into?

TB: “We plan to focus on continuing to educate stadia personnel that the right turf protection system can help their venues operate more efficiently and ultimately help to increase revenues.

“We have had a European division since 2010 based in England and our presence worldwide is supported by not only our rental partners but also some distributors and resellers in numerous countries.

 “Our goal is to continue to be a leading manufacturer in the business of turf protection systems for stadia and to continue to grow our global footprint.”

Catch up with Tony Booth at #SBS23 as Signature Systems sponsors our international welcome reception on 28th June at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester. Registration details and further info at the #SBS23 website.