Old Republic Surety Goes High-Tech with Pittsburgh Pirates Video ProjectPosted by Kerry Enders, AFSB
A major league ballpark can be a feast for the senses, from colorful fan gear to a tasty barbecue sandwich. There’s always plenty of action down on the field, but visitors like to be entertained in the stands as well.
That’s why stadiums are employing state-of-the-art video technology to enhance their fans’ game-day experience. A case in point is PNC Park, the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In 2022, PNC Park decided to upgrade its video production equipment with high-definition cameras, switchers and wiring. The stadium had recently spent $5.6 million to double the size of its scoreboard, and it wanted to take advantage of the new display’s advanced capabilities.
Texolve Digital Inc. was selected for the $4.3 million project, but it needed a bond. The catch was this niche company didn’t fit the traditional mold for contract surety. Nevertheless, Old Republic Surety found a way for Texolve Digital to hit a home run and score a win for PNC Park.
From sticks and bricks to high-tech
Most contract surety bonds are written for “sticks and bricks” — buildings, roads and bridges — and contractors provide construction-oriented accounting information to qualify for a bond.
But what happens when a contractor isn’t a construction company? Such was the case with Texolve Digital, a nine-person firm that designs and builds video production systems. Bonding wasn’t something that Texolve Digital had experience with.
As Old Republic Surety Bond Manager Kerry Enders explains, “With a conventional surety contractor, you’re looking at three or four years of construction-oriented financial statements, work-in-progress reports and job schedules to see if the profits have held up.”
But the PNC Park project was different. “The standard job costing that’s done on a percentage-of-completion basis doesn’t lend itself to this kind of project,” he says. “We had to look at it in a different way. We had to focus more on their expertise, how long they’ve been in business, their references and their job performance.”
According to Enders, “Texolve Digital’s financials were very strong, but we wanted to better understand their work and how well they performed on previous projects. What helped is that we found out their clients absolutely loved them.”
Providing a better fan experience
It didn’t hurt that Texolve Digital already had a presence at PNC Park. The company has provided technical support for every home game since the stadium opened in 2001. One of only a few video systems integrators in Pennsylvania, it excels in a specialized field that Texolve Digital President Mike Gianutsos says includes no more than about two dozen companies in the U.S. capable of doing this kind of work.
“Stadiums need our expertise to upgrade their production equipment and provide a better fan experience,” he says. “Equipment is getting more sophisticated and expensive, too. Higher dynamic ranges, faster frame rates, 4K resolution — a lot has changed.”
Texolve Digital takes a soups-to-nuts approach to its projects. “We design systems tailored to our clients’ requirements and acquire the hardware to meet their schedule and budget. We usually build the systems at our own facility, then mobilize on-site to do the installation.”
For the Pirates project, that meant building and testing systems off-site during the 2022 season. When the season was over, Texolve Digital gutted the control room and installed new equipment and wiring. The project was completed in March 2023.
Creating a dream team with Old Republic Surety
Gianutsos describes his experience with Old Republic Surety as “stellar.” He also gives kudos to surety agent Rich Taylor of ACS Surety Bonds in Pittsburgh for placing the bond.
“When a surety company is willing to say they’ll stand behind you, it means a lot if you’re an unknown,” Gianutsos says. “We demonstrated what we’re capable of and showed them other work we’ve done. And based on that, they were very good in providing a product we needed.”
When it came time for Texolve Digital to bid on a similar project at the Penguins’ PPG Paints Arena, there was no doubt who they would call on for a bond, he adds. “We said we wanted to do the exact same thing again with Old Republic Surety.”
“Old Republic Surety is just excellent to work with,” says Taylor. “Not every surety would be willing to work with a Texolve Digital, but Old Republic Surety stepped up and showed us they can do more than just construction. As an agent, it’s good to know that I have a surety I can count on like that. It’s impressive.”
PNC Park Project at a Glance
Kerry Enders is the Bond Manager of Old Republic Surety Company's Eastern Pennsylvania Contract Branch office. He provides enhanced contract surety support for Delaware, New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. Kerry has over 25 years of surety industry experience. He spent 21 years with Liberty Mutual. Kerry holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a major in Accounting from Shippensburg University. Kerry also earned his AFSB certification.