NATCHEZ – Natchez Adams school district officials responded to a letter to the editor published in The Democrat last week saying they continue to support local businesses by purchasing sports equipment from them despite signing a contract with BSN Sports last summer.
The letter submitted by Ray Simpson, director of sales at Rex Sporting Goods in Natchez, states that when NASD signed a contract with BSN Sports, based in Dallas, Texas, to purchase sports equipment and clothing, it was ” a huge surprise “.
“The district’s decision to strike a deal with a national company and not even give the local team dealership a chance to participate in the negotiations is neither fair nor fair, ”said Simpson.. “We regularly pay taxes in Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi, and all of our staff are from the Natchez or Vidalia area.”
However, Natchez Adams School District Athletic Director Alphaka Moore said NASD continues to do business with Rex Sporting Goods and has purchased more than $ 12,000 in athletic equipment from the store during this alone. school year.
This includes all athletic equipment and two of the three sets of uniforms purchased this school year, NASD officials said in an email Thursday night.
Wyatt Craig, owner of Rex Sporting Goods and Sports Center, said they have been in business with NASD and other schools in the region for over 40 years without any issues.
“I think there’s something more going on than we’ve been told,” Craig said. “The athletic director said the students wanted Nike products, which we don’t sell, but the coaches always call us to order products. “
Regarding the students who choose Nike over Adidas, Simpson said, “The coaches make these decisions, not the child.”
An emailed statement from NASD officials confirmed they had partnered with BSN and Varsity Brands at the end of the last school term, but said the partnership “does not interfere with their support for businesses. local “.
The district has entered into a three-year contract with BSN, which it can choose to terminate at any time with 90 days notice, the statement said. This contract gives NASD access to discounts on Nike products as well as discounts on branding opportunities for facilities, filming equipment for the district’s digital media department, spirits of a wide range of well-known brands and assistance in updating our logo if necessary at no cost.
By having access to Nike products, which are not offered by local suppliers, at the reduced prices included in the contract, “we are able to motivate our students as well as support our local businesses,” officials said. school.
“This contract gives us the ability to purchase Nike products at a discounted price that are competitive with Adidas products offered locally,” school officials said. “Teams don’t have to buy from BSN if they choose designer clothes. “
NASD officials said BSN made its initial presentation to the school board in December 2020, however, the board did not approve the deal until it was presented to the board again in April.
“After discussion and review, it was agreed that this contract would only be approved if the district could continue to positively support local businesses,” the school statement read. “NASD continued to supply business to local suppliers, including Rex Sports. … The District remains committed to spending locally as much as possible.
“However, the district is also committed to buying from vendors who offer cost savings. As in the past, the District is open to discussing with local vendors and suppliers to resolve any issues or concerns and to discuss competitive offers that would be mutually beneficial. The District appreciates the partnership it has had with Rex Sporting Goods and will continue to patronize them. “