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May 14, 2007

AstroTurf Brand Name Back for Gameday

AstroTurf_logo.jpgSometimes its not so great when your name is the trailblazer in an industry. To generations of sports fans and athletes, there is only one recognizable brand name that is synonymous with artificial grass on playing fields: AstroTurf®.

But it seems that years of sprained ankles, rug burns and painful turf toes brought the company to its knees. By 2004 AstroTurf was bankrupt and the last old-school AstroTurf surface was ripped up in 2005.

It’s main competitor FieldTurf, who makes a kinder, gentler artificial grass, has declared the brand name dead, going so far as to erect a headstone to the name in one of their advertisements.

Jon_Pritchett.jpgJon Pritchett feels that the death of the AstroTurf brand name has been greatly exaggerated. In fact, he thinks he can capitalize on the brand name. His company, GeneralSports Venue, acquired the AstroTurf brand name last year, understanding that the brand’s history, which stretches back to 1966, has real equity.

His major competitors, FieldTurf and SprinTurf, have stayed close to the AstroTurf name, since it represents so much, like being the original innovator and creating the category.

Now, Pritchett has rights to an improved AstroTurf product, named Gameday Grass. Nice.

gameday_grass.gifThere is a resonance to the word “grass” among sports lovers - somehow games that are played on grass have an authenticity and grittiness to them that is hard to replicate. And most turfs are trying to be grass anyway... why not work the word grass into the product name?

I think that the idea of synthetic grass or “turf” bears little romance to fans or athletes anymore and I bet Pritchett will hit a home run.

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Posted by William Lozito at May 14, 2007 10:19 AM
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1 Comment

These days "AstroTurf" also means to stage a pseudo-grassroots poltical campaign. I can't see the same thing happening to the name "Gameday Grass," though.

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