Updated: 15/03/17 : 07:04:00
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Sligoman's multi-million pitch company to open Irish base

Irish-owned SIS Pitches, which counts Real Madrid and FC Barcelona among its clients, is to create its first ever base in Ireland.
SIS Pitches, a world leader in synthetic and natural sports surfacing, has just completed laying the pitch for the 2018 World Cup Final in Moscow and already employs 245 people around the world.

With company offices in the UK, Holland, the Middle East, Russia, Turkey and Angola, SIS Pitches designs, manufactures, constructs, installs and maintains high-quality synthetic, natural and hybrid sports pitches. Some of its past projects include the Bernabeu and Camp Nou.
SIS Pitches was set up by CEO George Mullan in 2001. While Mr Mullan still lives in his hometown of Sligo, the company has never had a direct presence in Ireland.

He said,  “We have had phenomenal success in the UK market as well as in Eastern Europe and Russia. This year, we will be opening a joint venture in China and we are also moving into the US and Japan. We want to bring the success that we have had overseas to Ireland, invest in Ireland and hire Irish people.
“Personally, moving into the Irish market is a great sense of pride and excitement for me. SIS Manufacturing has been supplying synthetic pitches into Ireland for 16 years but now we will now be selling directly to end users, providing a full turnkey service of designing, building, manufacturing, installing and maintaining the pitches.”

SIS Pitches will initially have a presence in Sligo, Wicklow and Tyrone with the company in Ireland being headed up by Mark Barry, Operations Director (Wicklow), Darren McGeehan, Sales Director (Tyrone), with Mr Mullen based in Sligo.
Mark Barry, SIS Pitches Ireland Operations Director said,  “Our initial plan is to hire eight people with plans to put in warehouses and offices and employ more people as we expand on the island of Ireland. Globally, the company has more than doubled in size between 2013 and 2016 and we look forward to seeing similar growth in Ireland.”

Record turnover

Darren McGeehan, SIS Pitches Ireland Sales Director said,  “With more than 25 years’ experience designing and making pitches, Mark and I are looking forward to providing a full turnkey service for rugby, football, GAA, hockey and other pitches to sports clubs, local authorities, third-level institutions and schools across the country.”

Meanwhile, SIS Pitches’ annual results for 2016 show a record turnover exceeding €54 million, making it one of the world’s largest sports pitch companies. Its projections for 2017 is turnover of almost €63.5 million.

The company is also unique in its ability to design, manufacture, construct, install and maintain natural grass, synthetic turf and hybrid pitches.

Darren McGeehan, SIS Pitches Sales Director; George Mullan, SIS Pitches CEO and founder and Mark Barry, SIS Pitches Operations Director who are leading the new SIS Pitches team in Ireland,

Last year, the company installed more pitches than in any previous year in business including the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, where the opening match, a semi-final and the final of the 2018 World Cup will be played.

Incorporating technologically-advanced SISGrass (which is a hybrid between synthetic and real grass) as well as the SISAir under-soil heating and cooling system, SIS Pitches has ensured perfect playing conditions for the most famous football event in the world.

A total of six of the 12 World Cup stadiums will be constructed and stitched with SISGrass by SIS. This means it will be laying more pitches for the World Cup than any other company.

In 2016, SISGrass fields were also completed for clients such as Chelsea, Derby County, Besiktas and Athletic Bilbao whilst the company also installed a new SISGrass hybrid pitch at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium, making Premier league history in the process.

2016 was a year of many “firsts” for SIS Pitches. In Manchester, a stg£2.2m project for the University, featuring two hockey pitches, one rugby and one football field, was completed over a 42-week construction period, culminating in winning the prestigious SAPCA 2016 Award for Excellence. The Sports and Play Construction Association (SAPCA) is the UK trade association for the sports facility construction industry.

The company also manufactured more square metres of synthetic turf at its plant in Cumbria than any previous year. It also upgraded its plant with new site equipment and has commissioned new SISGrass machines capable of completing a full-size pitch in five days.

In London, SIS Pitches upgraded the SISTurf pitch for English and European rugby champions Saracens, while SIS Pitches also constructed two RFU-funded projects at Aylesbury and Preston Grasshoppers.