Concerned about the lack of a sunset provision in a proposed contract with Adidas America, the East Penn School Board tabled a vote on the pact that would provide free new uniforms for all the varsity sports.
The agreement, which appears to be one of the first of its kind locally for a school district, would provide a set of free uniforms for each player on every varsity team over the initial two years of the contract. A second set could be purchased at 40 percent off the retail price, in addition to rebates and other benefits to the district.
Team members, coaches and athletic staff would be required to wear Adidas products while participating in district sporting events, including games, camps and clinics and in postings to social media made by school representatives.
At the board’s request, school district representatives negotiated with Adidas to reduce the time frame of the exclusivity deal the original five years to four years. The agreement is expected to save the district about $82,000 over two years, Superintendent Michael Schindler said at a March 28 meeting.
However, several school directors were concerned that Adidas would have right of first refusal when the contract was over.
That would mean if another apparel manufacturer offered the district a new contract, Adidas would have the option to match the competitor’s offering and then the district would be obligated to go with Adidas if it was going to enter into any contract.
But School Board President Alan Earnshaw said school directors and members of the public are always instructing the district to find creative ways to save money, and he views the Adidas contract as just that.
The vote to table the Adidas contract was 6-2 with school directors Carol Allen, Paul Champagne, Ziad Munson, Charles Ballard, Chris Donatelli and Ken Bacher voting yes and Earnshaw and Wally Vinovskis voting no. Rebecca Heid was absent.
According to the contract, in addition to the free uniforms, East Penn would get promotional products, rebates, custom banners, a media backdrop, warm-up jackets for state championship teams and 30-40 percent off the retail price of footwear, extra uniforms, and apparel accessories.
Margie Peterson is a freelance writer.
PROPOSED ADIDAS DEAL
•Each Emmaus High School team would get free custom Adidas uniforms.
•In Years 2 to 4, schools would get promotional products, rebates, custom banners, media backdrop, warm-up jackets for state championship teams and 30-40 percent off retail price of footwear, apparel accessories, and extra uniforms.
•Team members, coaches, and athletic staff must wear Adidas products while at sporting events or athletic activities, including games, camps and clinics, and in postings to social media made by school representatives