Columbia School Board approves uniform contract for Adidas apparel

Thursday, April 21, 2011 | 5:09 p.m. CDT; updated 6:40 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 21, 2011

COLUMBIA — Adidas will now be the go-to brand for athletic and spirit apparel for Columbia Public Schools.

The Columbia School Board approved unanimously a three-year contract with Nill Bros. Sports, located in Kansas City,during its work session Thursday morning. The contract is set to begin July 1.

The contract includes:

  • Free product signing bonus at catalog price of $20,000 in 2011-12, $20,000 in 2012-13 and $32,000 in 2013-14 to be used for new uniform and other apparel purchases.
  • An additional 6-percent rebate when purchases exceed $125,000 annually. 
  • A forty-percent catalog discount on all items.
  • Free T-shirts depending upon purchase volumes annually.
  • The ability for student groups and booster clubs to fundraise with Nill Bros. products.

Chief Financial Officer Linda Quinley said the recommendation was the result of her conversations with Bruce Whitesides, the district's athletics director, and with the high school athletics departments. The board approved the contract unanimously.

The district has not provided funding for new uniforms since 2006-07. The majority of the money since then has come from student fundraising, booster clubs and donations, Quinley said. Because student and parent organizations are doing most of the funding, there is a disparity in the quality of uniforms among schools.

"We wanted to get equity among our schools," Quinley said. "We also wanted to get more consistent quality."

Although teams that need new uniforms will have to buy them from Adidas, coaches can buy replacements from other vendors. If groups choose to buy Adidas products through Nill Bros., the district can collect the money to use the 6-percent rebate.

"We would encourage this contract, but we want (teams and other groups) to continue to do their business locally if that is their preference," Quinley said.

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