Following a path already cleared by Kansas University, Lawrence and Free State high schools are lining up to score uniforms, apparel and accessories through exclusive contracts involving adidas, the global sporting goods company.
Even if the numbers involved are a bit different.
“It’s a whole different scale,” laughed Matt Brungardt, principal of LHS.
Under proposed three-year contracts, each of the two schools would receive $11,500 worth of adidas apparel, equipment or other products from the global company, plus another $22,500 of adidas products provided by Lawrence-based Francis Sporting Goods.
Athletes at the two schools also would be able to buy adidas gear at a discount: 35 percent off for shoes, and 40 percent off for other items — from soccer socks to football gloves to baseball caps and everything in between — through a dedicated website.
Discounts also would apply for all of the schools’ students on all adidas products available at the Francis store, 731 Mass.
“It’ll be a great opportunity,” Brungardt said. “To me, I don’t see a downside.”
The proposed contracts await approval next month by members of the Lawrence school board, who last year cut the district’s athletics budgets by more than $100,000. Members said Monday they wanted more information about the role of nondistrict funds in athletics before moving forward.
“It merits some discussion about how we, as a district, are engaging commercialization of our schools,” said Rich Minder, board president.
Earlier this year, adidas inked a three-year, $11,500-in-products pact for Perry-Lecompton High School, and officials at Baldwin High School also have been approached.
Kansas Athletics Inc. is in the midst of an eight-year, $26.67 million all-sports contract with adidas, a deal that provides KU with about half the amount in product and about half the total in cash.