By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
Adidas, the athletics footwear and apparel giant, made Tupelo High School an offer it couldn’t refuse.
Starting this fall, and for the next three years, Golden Wave athletics teams will wear Adidas shoes and apparel.
“It’s a deal we couldn’t turn down,” THS athletics director Danny Porter said. “Adidas makes a good product and it was a good deal.”
Former Golden Wave quarterback Stan Hill, a sale representative for Rex Team Sports, said Adidas representatives came to his company wanting a Mississippi high school athletics program to endorse its brand.
“They wanted a 6A school, a big hitter,” Hill said. “They thought Tupelo, with all its successful programs, would be a perfect fit.
“It’s a first-class deal. I’m really excited for Tupelo. Adidas is hoping to build a bigger presence in Mississippi and in high school athletics.”
Details of the contract were not released by Rex Team Sports or Tupelo High.
“I’m excited that we’re going to be an Adidas football team and an Adidas school,” Golden Wave first-year football coach Trent Hammond said. “My players are excited about it.
“We’re going to get the same quality of gear that players at Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Notre Dame are playing in.”
The Golden Wave football team was fitted this spring for new uniforms.
“These uniforms are different than anything we’ve had before,” Hammond said. “We’ll have Adidas everything … shoes, socks, practice gear, gloves.”
Adidas makes a college/high school competition football, but Tupelo is obligated by the Mississippi High School Activities Association to use Wilson footballs.
Tupelo High fields teams in 20 sports: baseball, basketball (girls, boys), bowling (girls, boys), cross country (girls, boys), football, golf (girls, boys), powerlifting, soccer (girls, boys), swimming (girls, boys), tennis (girls, boys), track and field (girls, boys) and volleyball (girls).
The school has been recognized for having the state’s top athletics program in five of the last nine years. THS has also been recognized by Sports Illustrated for having one of the nation’s top 10 athletics programs.
“I think that once Adidas realized how successful Tupelo was in all of its sports, they were on board,” Hammond said. “I’ve talked with our coaches in other sports and they like this deal.”