By R. Alan Richardson
Athletic Director Doug Connelly recently announced that Morgan County High School has entered into a contractual agreement with the Adidas for the 2017-18 school year. Adidas is one of the world’s leading suppliers of individual and team sports gear.
The details of the agreement, according to Connelly, include a guaranteed discount on Adidas team apparel from their official team catalog’s retail price and a percentage back in ‘promotional money’ to reinvest in athletic wear, shoes, uniforms, and equipment. Connelly said, “It’s the gift that keeps on giving.”
Morgan County Middle School athletes, coaches, and teams will be encouraged, but not required, to use Adidas to receive the same discounts. The AD commented, “The Middle School was really not in a position this year to take on the Adidas agreement in its entirety, but we already have several teams that are using the Adidas line. It’s something we will look at down the road and just see how things go.”
Connelly made four points that made him a firm believer in the team program.
1. “We are guaranteed the discount and promotional money. They call it money but it’s not real cash. We will be able to reinvest the money and purchase Adidas product with it. It will ultimately save somebody some money. It could be the program, teams, student-athletes, or parents. For example, we don’t purchase shoes in all our sports programs, but we do give them a type to go by. The players or parents will save on cleats in baseball for example. This will allow us to operate at a high level and make our funds go farther in the long run. The other nice thing about the contract is that it is only for one year per board policy. This will give us all an opportunity to take a look at everything after the year is completed to see if it is still the best option available for all involved. Our football, wrestling, and boys’ basketball programs are already using Adidas and seem to be very pleased with them. This input gave me a great deal of confidence in Adidas and entering into this agreement. Our other sports will now be getting the same perks and no one feels like the step-child. The vendors will see all the coaches and everybody will be treated fairly. It’s a huge deal.”
2. “Coaches are coaching and teaching. In fact, the majority of their paycheck comes from how well they do their job in the classroom. It’s a very demanding schedule. No longer will they have to meet with different companies before or after school, use planning time to make phone calls to get bids, shop, get quotes, negotiate, and waste time. They can focus on what is most important-teaching by simply making a call to Adidas and placing their order. They are guaranteed to get a deal every time because of our partnership with Adidas. This agreement will alleviate a lot of the stress in the equation for our coaches and allow them to spend more time with their families.”
3. “We will be getting a quality product. Adidas is a world-wide leader in apparel and gear. When you look good you feel good. When you feel good you play good. It’s a logo that represents leaders. If you look at pro or college sports and you see those players wearing the same uniforms or shoes you are, it gives you a sense of pride. It’s also important that we show uniformity in all our sports where all our reds will be the same red. We’ll get that and the benefit that comes from wearing a quality product.”
4. “An expanded opportunity will allow us to provide Morgan County fans and the community with school-specific apparel for MCHS. People ask all the time about where to get a certain apparel item. Now, we will have an Adidas fan shop online with a wide array of Bulldog items to purchase. We are planning on offering different apparel for the upcoming seasons that may be colder or warmer times of year.”
In conclusion Connelly summed things up like this, “Parents and athletes will have the opportunity to purchase items at a lower cost than retail stores. It’s a no-brainer. Saving money to reinvest in other things will eventually allow us to all start working on our wish list. Every coach has thought, ‘Man, I’d really like to have that, but…(can we afford it)?’ It could include training equipment, increasing athletic performance, facility needs, you name it. I truly believe it’s a win-win situation for everybody.”