Rubbing shoulders with Dutch royalty

SGL meets Queen Máxima in Austin, Texas.

Nico van Vuuren, Frank van Beusekom and Weston Appelfeller, together with Dutch Queen Maxima on the pitch of the Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas.

Rubbing shoulders with Dutch royalty

Last Thursday, the pitch at the Q2 stadium in Austin Texas was the scene of a very special encounter. In the presence of the international media, SGL founder Nico van Vuuren and Sales Director Frank van Beusekom had the honour of shaking hands with none other than Dutch Queen Máxima who, as part of the royal working visit to California and Texas, set foot on Austin FC’s holy grass and operated one of the SGL lighting units.

Austin FC, currently in the race for the MLS playoffs, has been a customer since 2020 and integrated the SGL system consisting of lighting, data monitoring and advice from our agronomy department on crop protection, to keep their stadium pitch in perfect shape.

A fine example of innovative thinking

Queen Máxima her visit was centred on the warm relationship between the Dutch and Texas business communities and focused on innovation and collaboration in various areas. At the accompanying dinner, the Queen mentioned in her speech, among other things, the following:

“What I find really striking is how many connections there are between Austin FC and the Netherlands. Not only in the team, but also in the stadium. The indestructible turf is the result of a collaboration with SGL. A Dutch company that started out growing roses, but discovered that its knowledge of lighting used for growing plants could be applied in the sports world too. A fine example of innovative thinking that fits right in here in Austin.”

Words to be very proud of. To see Queen Máxima – sports oriented like the entire royal family – operate our lighting unit, is a highlight in SGL history. Something that founder Nico van Vuuren was also impressed by and looks back on with pride:

“Of course, it is an honour to meet the Queen. That honour is certainly not for everyone. I explained to the Queen what we stand for at SGL, but I have to say that she was already very familiar with what we do. It was clear that the Queen had read up very well, which I think was impressive. But her presence was imposing in every way. Throughout the years, many famous footballers have walked the grass of our customers, but witnessing Queen Máxima on the grass operating our lighting unit, that’s next level.”

Thus says a proud Nico van Vuuren.