Starting their journey on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia, Jeddah, Pitchmark’s Managing Director, Tim Rodman, and Operations Director, Jon Griffiths, met with partners TASCO LLC at their main office and the King Abdullah Sports City. Drawing on their expertise in both business and technical areas, the duo aimed to share their knowledge with ground maintenance personnel, enabling them to create high-quality pitches that are admired by millions of viewers during high-profile competitions such as the English Premier League, Champions League and more.
Rodman and Griffiths focussed on technical training and support with TASCO Turf Division Manager, Babiker Gatib, and the rest of the team at their head office on Tuesday, before visiting Sports City’s training grounds outside the main stadium on Wednesday for line marking product training and demonstrations.
“After the Qatar World Cup, it was a pleasure to collaborate with Gatib and the team once more, alongside the sports pitch contractors who participated in our training sessions and product showcases, in a face-to-face setting,” Rodman said.
“It’s surprising how regularly grounds staff use household paints to mark pitches, despite their impurities. Our goal was to highlight the economic and environmental advantages of using Pitchmark Lumen concentrate and Direct ready-to-use paints, whilst showcasing the clear, crisp lines that were produced on the pitches.”
On Thursday, the pair made the relatively-short flight across to Riyadh where they teamed up with colleagues at TASCO once again, but this time at the famous King Fahd International Stadium – which played host to last January’s historic nine-goal thriller between Paris Saint-Germain and the Saudi All-Star XI, featuring both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Also attending were grounds maintenance contractors and delegates from the Ministry of Sport.
“As a result of our experiences working in GCC countries and taking the information we gave on Tuesday, it was important for us to apply our experience and educate grounds staff in another practical environment,” said Rodman.
“One of the things we looked at was how paint transfers onto the leaf and how its characteristics influence its performance. In the Middle East, warm weather grasses, such as Bermuda and Paspalum, are much different from the cold season Perennial Ryegrass here in the UK due to their wide leaves and flat surfaces.
“We compared the differences in paint application from our Classic transfer wheel marker to our Hybrid spray line marker, and how the paint sits on the warm weather grass inside the stadium.
After conducting successful training sessions in Jeddah and Riyadh, Pitchmark journeyed to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to offer additional product assistance, but this time to the staff and team of Polyclean LLC. In addition to the technical training and product support, Rodman and Griffith’s trip also provided Pitchmark with a fantastic opportunity to better understand their partners’ and contractors’ needs and challenges within the industry.
“Our primary focus was on accuracy, consistency, and user-friendliness. With Pitchmark’s LineFix, ground maintenance teams can ensure that their pitches are consistently marked and maintained to a high standard with ease. This will help contractors and staff to create sports pitches of outstanding quality, which can match or even exceed the standards set in the West,” Rodman said.
The trip was a resounding success for Pitchmark, as they were able to strengthen their relationships with their partners and contractors in the region, while also expanding their business into new territories. It is a testament to the quality of Pitchmark’s products and their commitment to providing exceptional customer service.