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Interview with John Beynon - 105.7 The Fan

You're listening to sports with Coleman here on 105.7 The fan. Welcome back into the program. John Beynon joins us from Beynon Sports, specializing in sports surfaces. John, appreciate you coming on. Let's talk about your job and your history. You are a Baltimore guy you grew up in the city. You, probably didn't realize it was going to come to this in terms of being a local national and international company. Explain what Beynon Sports does all over the world and exactly what you do in terms of sports surfaces.

Well, thanks Jerry. Thanks for having me on, Beynon Sports, we manufacture, design, and install, running tracks and a gymnasium flooring. We are the global leader in the track and field surfacing industry. Globally we've completed over 7,500 installations and we install for colleges, high schools, cities, and private venues.

All right. So what inspired you to start your career in a niche sport? Like track and field, I guess is where it all emanated from.

I went the Baltimore Polytechnic high school, and then I went to Towson university, played a little bit of basketball, and then I started working for a wood flooring manufacturer in Philadelphia and, uh, in 1970 and in 1971, uh, we got into a poured in place, polyurethane athletic surfacing, and, um, our first installation that we sold and installed was right here in Baltimore, Essex community college and Kate Hood Community College.

Well, I see, I didn't really know that. And do you think enough has been done to highlight the fact that this all started here in Baltimore?

This is the first time I think it ever has ever gotten out to the public.

Well, that's pretty big stuff. And can you go ahead and just describe to the audience, the process, John and creating these sports surfaces. What makes a surface a higher quality compared to other corporations?

We manufacturer everything in Hunt Valley, uh, we have our own, R&D office. Uh, it's a polyurethane surface. It's a poured in place, not glued down. Uh, it's resilient by formulation, so it doesn't get hard as it ages. And then we have a variety of different textures depending on the sport. Locally, some of the colleges that we put it in as such as Towson and UMBC and College Park. We have seven surfaces that have been tested and meet the World Athletics performance standards for track and field surfacing. And so therefore we had different price points, different requirements.

And I mean, you do it all from what high school to the Olympic games, correct?

Oh yeah. Well actually we're going to host the World Championships next month in Eugene, Oregon at the University of Oregon, which is a, just one step below the Olympics. And, uh, we just hosted the NCAA championships out at Eugene. We hosted the U.S. track and field championships. We're pretty proud of the fact that we're going to be on the world showcase at the World Championships, but locally we're,, we're going to be building under Armour's new track and field facility in Port Covington.

Oh, that's going to be beautiful. Can’t wait, when will that come to a conclusion?

By September, we're going to, we're putting the track in an August. Um, it's, it's real. It's going to be, uh, our, our top of the line surface and they're going to have these force plates in the surfaces to do a lot of testing. And, we’ve worked with other shoe manufacturers. We've done all the work at Nike, and we just built a track at New Balance up in Boston and which is a state-of-the-art indoor track facility with our hydraulic track system. You push a button, and the turns go from a flat track to a 12-degree incline. So, the athlete can run with centrifugal force

Talking with John Beynon at Beynon Sports here on sports with Coleman. Wow. Eh, you don't, I mean, when it comes to shoe companies, you deal with them all, uh, I guess it would take a lot of money to get an exclusive deal with you guys, right?

Oh yeah. But we know we're not exclusive with anyone, but we're very proud of the fact that we, we have done work with Nike and New Balance.

What do track and field facilities look for when it comes to a sports surface? Exactly. John, what, what is some of their requirements?

Well, what they want is a fast track, but they also want to track that they can train on day in and day out. And that offers value to the venue. So durability and the life cycle cost is very important. We’re one of the unique companies that will customize the track to meet the desires and the needs of that program. For example, if you are more, a sprint or explosive event team, we will build your track that may be firmer than a middle distance and distance program, always meeting the requirements of the world athletics performance standards.

Right. I got to ask you, I mean, so much competition out there in the world, and when it comes to building surfaces, I'm sure there's competition there. How do you stand out from the competition?

Well, first of all, we're a hundred percent us owned and made. I mean, we make everything right here in Maryland, our major competitors from overseas, when it comes to building permanent bank tracks or hydraulic backtracks, everything that we use, all, all us steel, all us plywoods, everything is, is from the U.S. and believe it or not a lot of company, a lot of schools, a lot of architects and designers prefer to deal with a U.S. a supplier.

And your headquarters are here in Baltimore crrect? But you have places all over.

Yes, our home office is here in hunt valley. Uh, we have offices in Austin, Texas, Denver, Colorado, Tualatin Oregon, which is right outside of Portland and in Fresno, California.

And it's a family affair. It's not just you doing all the work yourself, right?

Oh, no. My, my oldest son is a, it works with me very closely with me and he's helped me grow this business.

All right. You talk about your Baltimore roots and how it's been building this sports business in a city like Baltimore. I mean, that has to be very redeeming for you as someone who grew up here.

Yes, it is. And, um, you know, as I grew up, I mean, I I've, I've always been, uh, uh, I've followed university of Maryland sports. I thought houses sports, but I'm a huge Ravens fan and Orioles fan. And obviously as a kid, I was a Colts fan.

And, uh, I understand growing up, you were delivering newspapers. Was it the Sun or News American?

It was American. Yes. I started delivering that when I was 12 years old. I grew up in Northwest Baltimore

**So did I! **

oh, I grew up in Howard park. It's the last community in Baltimore City before you get into the county.

All right, John, appreciate your time. How can folks find out more about your company, whether it be online or paying a visit somewhere?

Well, go to and you'll find all about it. We have a very extensive website

John, it's been a pleasure catching up with you, I really like, caring about what you're doing here. Not only for Baltimore, but the world best of luck to you and the people over at Beynon Sports. Thanks for your time this evening.