02 2016An Open Letter: The Facts About FieldTurf and Duraspine Fiber From FieldTurf CEO and President Eric DaliereVolver a la listaA recent report from the New Jersey Star-Ledger / NJ Advance Media argues that FieldTurf fields around the country have failed prematurely, as a result of an issue with Duraspine fiber. The story also makes a number of negative claims about FieldTurf, and individual employees – including me.FieldTurf was as cooperative as possible for this story. This included answering more than 70 questions on the record. In spite of this effort, we believe this story paints a highly misleading picture of the Duraspine issue and what kind of company FieldTurf is.That is why we wanted to clarify few things: FieldTurf puts its customers first. Our top priorities are delivering high-quality products, satisfying our customers, and honoring our warranties. This is critical to our success as a company and it’s what I stand for as CEO and President. We have never sought to deceive or mislead our customers – and we strongly disagree with any suggestion to the contrary. This is not about safety and has never been a nationwide problem. The issue with Duraspine is only about how a field looks over time in certain high UV environments – primarily in the Southern and Southwestern regions of the U.S. There is not and has never been any issue with the safety of these fields for playing on. In fact, our customers choose FieldTurf because our proprietary design and patented system delivers unmatched performance and safety. These claims are backed up by independent peer-review studies published in leading sports medicine journals (see here and here). The infill, not the fibers, is what protects athletes. This is not a new issue. In the fall of 2009, we became aware that FieldTurf was starting to receive more warranty claims related to field and fiber performance than in the past. We came to understand that the Duraspine fiber was prone to premature fiber breakdown in certain high UV conditions and in certain fiber colors. In our 2011 lawsuit against our former fiber supplier TenCate, we alleged the Duraspine product was changed before it went to market without FieldTurf being told. As a result, we initiated litigation against TenCate and phased out use of the product. We now make our own fiber. We are sorry this happened. This has been a frustrating and disappointing experience for impacted customers, for FieldTurf employees, and for me personally. However, we never hid from this problem and we take issue with any attempt to suggest otherwise. This has impacted a relatively small number of fields. Less than 3% of all FieldTurf fields installed worldwide have been replaced related to warranty claims associated with the Duraspine fiber and only approximately 8% of all Duraspine fields globally have been replaced related to warranty claims. The background is important. FieldTurf was led to believe by its supplier that Duraspine would be a major innovation and would offer a new market-leading level of resilience and durability. Over time, FieldTurf came to realize the Duraspine fiber was not achieving the breakthrough performance levels we had expected. However, we continued to believe it was a best-in-class monofilament that would meet and exceed its warranty period. For virtually all fields in low-UV areas, this has indeed been the case. We have worked to make this right. Where fields have been impacted, we have worked closely with our customers to resolve any issues. We have put a process in place and have been actively engaged with customers in high UV markets where we believe premature wear could occur. If a customer discovers an issue with a Duraspine field, or any other FieldTurf product, we encourage them to contact us so we can inspect the field. We are committed to honoring our warranties and remediating, where appropriate, any fields that have degraded prematurely. If any customer has concerns about their field, we would be more than happy to send – at our expense – a technician to assess it. For further information or to ask additional questions, please contact us here:Julie Paquin Director Customer Service 514-375-2609 Julie.Paquin@fieldturf.com Please let me know if you have any additional questions.