Robbins on site in Beijing for the 37th annual NBA Global Games pre-season tour

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In the last stop of the Pre-Season NBA Global games, the Brooklyn Nets will take on the Sacramento Kings on Oct. 15th at The MasterCard Center in Beijing. Greg Pierce, Portables Manager at Robbins Sports Surfaces, arrived in Beijing onNBA--China-Floor-4-resized October 9th to oversee the installation of the new portable floor that will be used for the game. The new floor, a Robbins All Star Plus portable, was shipped to Beijing from the manufacturing plant in Ishpeming, MI. The floor was built entirely in the US plant, with the exception of the graphic decals and finish which were applied onsite in Beijing.

This is the 10th year China has participated in the NBA Global Games. Robbins was onsite both last year and this year to help improve the coordination and efficiency of the setup and installation of the floor. John Puening, Manager of Product R&D, traveled to the Philippines and Taiwan last year to oversee the installation. John was able to experience first-hand the excitement and devotion from loyal NBA fans on a global level “I was extremely proud to represent Robbins in helping the NBA bring their games to markets that don’t always get to experience the games live. International fans love the NBA and the excitement is really great to see.”

We wish both the Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings great luck in the upcoming game, and to all of the NBA teams throughout the 2014-15 season!NBA--China-Floor-2-resized

Source: NBA.com/global/

Click here to learn more about the All Star Portable flooring system, or contact us at 1-800-543-1913 to speak with a Robbins representative in your area.

 

 

About Robbins:

Robbins Sports Surfaces is the premier supplier of high performance hardwood and synthetic sports flooring systems to the arena, education, religious and fitness markets. Robbins has built basketball courts for 21 out of the past 25 NBA champions. Over 90% of all NBA teams have relied on Robbins for their competition and training facilities. In more than 65 nations around the world athletes compete and practice on millions of square meters of Robbins sports flooring. Professional and amateur alike know that when they play on a high performance Robbins’ system they’ll be able to play at peak levels, safely and comfortably.

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Ask the Expert: A Q&A on screening and recoating your new gym floor.

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You have a new gym floor. Now what? We sat down for a Q&A with our resident expert, Kevin Price, to get answers to the questionskevin price- head shot- cropped we hear the most from new gym floor owners. Kevin had so much great advice to keep your gym floor looking great, that we have broken our Q&A session into 3 parts. In Part 1, he answers all your questions about screening and recoating a floor.

1. What is a screen & recoat? A screen and recoat is when the contractor comes in and slightly abrades the floor and applies 1 to 2 coats of finish to the floor.  This method simply cleans up the floor.  There are a few ways to abrade the floor but the most common method is to screen it with 100 grit screen, this is called a dry-screen. There are a few companies that will use a scrubber-vac to “clean” or abrade the floor and will then apply finish over the floor, this is called a wet-screen.

2. Which method do you recommend and why?  Because we do not recommend the use of a scrubber vac, our preferred method is a dry screen.

3. How often should you screen/recoat the floor?  Depending on the use of the floor, it should be screened and recoated at a minimum of every year.  There are certain instances where a floor can be screened and recoated every other year.  The advantage is that it adds a new luster to the floor but also increases the friction characteristics of the floor, making it safer for the end user.

4. How long does it take to screen/recoat a floor?  There are a few different processes that can be used for a screen and recoat but a typical screen and recoat should take 1 to 2 days.  The finish will then need to cure, which will take 3 to 5 days depending on the finish (oil vs. water) chosen.Lakota West Recoating-resized

5. What harm is there if I only screen/recoat the floor every other year or every third year? Will it have an effect on performance of the floor, and the athlete?  The harm with not screening the floor is that the friction characteristics of the floor will break down over time, making the floor slippery.  This can become a safety concern.  Often, lack of use and/or the owner’s finances plays a role in the decision making process, however, the key ingredients are to protect the athlete and to protect the floor. Screening a floor annually, addresses both of these issues.

6. Can refinishing or recoating actually extend the life of the floor?  Absolutely!  Just like a car, if you do the preventative actions, the car will last longer.  The same holds true with the floor, the more that you protect the floor, the longer the floor will last and perform.

7. What role does safety/comfort play in decision to screen/recoat? As addressed above, the big safety concern is friction characteristics. If the finish is dull or fading, the floor will become slick. When the floor becomes slick, the possibility of injury increases.

8. What is the daily maintenance of a floor after it has been screened and recoated? The best course of action is to dust mop the floor as many times daily as possible.  Make sure that you do not use a dust mop treatment as they often will have some type of wax, which may contaminate the finish.  If you have a spill, you may need to mop it up but we would strongly encourage you to dry the floor after you mop it.  Remember, water and wood do not mix.  There are also devices that are made to help “clean” a floor that have been very effective.  If there are scuff marks, you may remove them simply by rubbing your shoe over the scuff mark or by rubbing a tennis ball over the scuff mark.  Daily maintenance includes dust mopping the floor. All finish manufacturers have their own protocol in regards to maintenance. Please consult the finish manufacturer as needed.

9. Can you use a scrubber-vac on a wood floor?  It is Robbins and the Maple Floor Manufacturers Association (MFMA) position that scrubber vacs should not be used on a wood floor, in fact, the use of the scrubber vac on a newly installed floor will void the warranty.

10. Can you use any hardwood floor contractor to screen & recoat the floor? Or should you choose one that specializes in sports flooring? Why?  It is my experience that you should only hire a MFMA accredited sports flooring contractor to perform a screen & recoat on your floor.  The reason why is because they are trained, tested and certified in the processes and procedures set forth by the finish manufacturer.  After all, the process take time and money,  if the gymnasium is closed for longer than expected, then the athletic department or the owner will be scrambling to finds places for the teams to practice and play their games, often times having to pay to use a different facility.  More importantly, does an owner or athletic director want to trust the work of someone that is not qualified to protect the safety of their players?

About the Expert
Kevin Price is the Regional Sales Manager for the Central Region at Robbins Sports Surfaces. He has more than 14 years of experience in the sports flooring industry. Kevin joined Robbins in 2012 and prior to that, he was the Regional Manager for Robbins exclusive dealer, the Cincinnati Floor Company (CFC). During his time at CFC, Kevin gained an appreciation and love for the industry, as well as working knowledge of the installation, sanding, sealing, stripping and finishing techniques of gymnasium flooring.  He attended school at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.  He is also an avid fan of all St. Louis sports teams.

 

Bridging Cultures through Sports

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As a member of our international sales and customer service division I’ve always enjoyed meeting people from different cultures and learning more about them. Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a large trade show in Europe that drew attendees from all over the world. As the visitors strolled by our exhibit space, their attention was drawn to the many banners and pictures highlighting basketball floors we’ve provided for the NBA, and large international venues like the Asian and Pan Am games. Even though there were significant language barriers at times, you could see the dawn of recognition in their eyes and the smiles on their faces as they connected famous international sports venues, NBA teams and Robbins as the provider. Then came the inevitable exclamations of “Robbins – USA – NBA – AHHHH”. Cultural barriers immediately came down as Bahrain Floor at FSB 2013we found a common connection through sports.

In fact, one gentleman from Bahrain was so excited to learn that we had supplied the sports floor in a well-known venue in his country, that he had us take a photo of him  using the banner of his floor as the backdrop so that he could share it with his friends and family at home. I was proud and humbled at the same time to see the impact our business had on him and the many others who stopped by to talk about sports floors.

Equally exciting was the opportunity to work with customers and to meet designers, architects, and builders that had specified and installed Robbins sports floors. To work with those individuals that brought a sporting venue from start to finish, using Robbins products, transported a feeling of nothing more than satisfaction. A process much like birth; from log, to lumber, to a finished stick of hard maple floor, to a project, an installation, a venue. As a result of life, I found that the satisfaction with each project was larger than me, that the entire team, shared in it, enveloped it, and was gratified by the results.

1996 Atlanta Olympics Robbins PortableWhether it’s the Little League World Series, The World Cup, or The Olympics, sports have the ability to transcend cultural differences. On the court, the pitch, or the ball diamond, political and cultural differences seem to take a back seat, at least for a little while as teams and individuals compete for the pure joy of the game. I know that I came back to the U.S. with a deeper appreciation that what I do every day makes a difference in the lives of others and helps them achieve their dreams – whether it’s for a world-class venue, or for a local school it’s a good feeling. And hey, with over 7 billion people on earth in 196 countries, there’s plenty of people to meet and plenty of work to do – I can’t be more excited!

 

Buying a Sports Surface is Serious Business – 5 Tips to a better decision

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Buying a sports surface is a big decision and can be somewhat overwhelming and confusing. After all, with proper care, you’ll be living with your decision for a long, long time, one that could span your entire professional career.javale-mcgee-confused-resized Here are some tips to help you make a better buying decision:

Tip #1 – Take a long term view
Regardless of your budget, buy the best, highest quality floor possible that you can afford….sometimes spending a few more dollars up front can pay off in the long term

  • Some floors are designed to last only 10 – 15 years, while others will last 40 years or more.
  • Some floors are designed to be renovated in place to extend their life, while others cannot.  Some may require complete tear-out & disposal at the end of their useful life, while others can be ‘retired’ in-place and a new floor simply installed over top of it.
  • All sports floors require proper care and maintenance.

Tip #2 – Make sure the product you select best matches needs of your users and your facility
There are many, many product types on the market, each of which has unique characteristics suited for specific applications.  The challenge is that there are often several different types of products that could be effectively used for the same application.  Evaluate Trade-offs like:

  • Durability vs comfort vs game play response vs estimated product life
  • Competition use or multi-purpose use
  • Uni-directional vs multi-directional activities
  • Usage rate – Number of hours per day, week, month and year

Tip #3 – Buy from a reputable firm
Do your research.  Like Tommy Callahan in Tommy Boy, tried so hard to communicate to a prospective customer“….it’s the company behind the products, not the ‘guarantee on the box’ that matters most….”.  

  • How long has the company been in business?  
  • Do they have a reputation and history for being fair in dealing with customers and vendors alike?
  • Do they have knowledgeable technical, sales and customer service staff?  
  • Do they have full-time Research and Development staff?
  • What innovations have they introduced to the market?
  • Check their product specific reference lists
  • Interview current owners with respect to their experience dealing with the company

Tip #4 – Have your floor professionally installed
No matter how good the product, you’re asking for trouble if the surface is not professionally installed by a trained, sports flooring installation firm.  

  • Like Tip # 3 above check their references. How many sports floors have they installed in the past 10 years?  
  • Check with the owners about their after-market support and care.  
  • Installing a sports surface is a specialty that requires significant training, experience and collaboration with the manufacturer, general contractor, architect and owner in order ensure a successful installation.  They are trained to identify and provide the owner with solutions to site specific challenges like:
  • concrete flatness
  • concrete moisture
  • site environmental conditions temperature and relative humidity

Tip #5 – Take care of your floor
We know budgets can get squeezed, but proper care and maintenance will add years to the life of the system and ensure that the users have a safe surface.  

While we would hope that you choose Robbins, regardless of your decision, we want you to be armed with the best possible information before you buy.  Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many projects where “buyer unaware”…… became “buyer remorse”.

Robbins installs new portable floor for 2013 Central American Games in Costa Rica

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The 2013 Central American Games recently opened in San Jose, Costa Rica to more than 2,700 athletes from 7 participating countries, competing in more than 25 different sports. Robbins installed almost 10,000 sq. feet of the ALL STAR™ PLUS portable flooring system, the same floor also used by most NBA teams. Robbins top of the line portable basketball court, All Star Plus, is manufactured and fully assembled in Robbins US plant located in Ishpeming, MI. San-Jose---Costa-Rica--All-Star-Plus (1)-resized

The Central American Games is a regional championship event held every 4 years, typically in the first year after the Summer Olympics. The Games are open for member federations of the Central American Sports Organization, and will run from March 3-17, 2013. This year marks the tenth year for the Central American Games and the 1st year that Costa Rica has hosted the event. This was also the first time Costa Rica hosted an international event of this magnitude, while also building and completing the new sports complex in record time. In attendance at the inauguration ceremony was the President of Costa Rica, Ms. Laura Chinchilla, and the mayor of San Jose Mr. Johnny Araya. During the inauguration ceremony President Chinchilla complimented the new floor saying it was the “most featured novelty in the magnificent new facility”.  The new coliseum named Ciudad Deportiva,  is located in Hatillo 2, a community of San Jose. It will be home to all basketball, volleyball, handball and futsal championship events during the games.

For more information about Robbins All Star Plus portable basketball court, visit the webpage here, or call us at 1-800-543-1913, email us at [email protected], or complete the online contact form.

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