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Senator Schumer asking NBA to step up the pressure on Adidas
Dec '09
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced he has made a direct appeal to National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern asking him to terminate the leagues contract with the Adidas company if it doesn't scrap plans to ship its game-day jersey production overseas. Last week, Schumer revealed that that shoe and apparel giant—which has an exclusive contract with the NBA to supply the league's teams with their official uniforms—plans to end its contract with a New York-based supplier and will for the first time produce the game-day jerseys worn by NBA players at facilities outside of the USA.

Schumer had called on Adidas to reverse this flawed decision and continue to make NBA jerseys in the United States – a move that could save approximately 100 jobs in Perry, NY, and many more across the country. Schumer pointed to Perry's 40-year history of producing official jerseys – including the jerseys worn by Michael Jordan and the rest of the 1992 Dream Team – and said that outsourcing the jerseys worn by top US athletes would not only hurt hundreds of American employees, but basketball fans across the country -- and the NBA brand. However, the company said it plans to press ahead with the outsourcing.

Schumer said that approximately 50% of the NBA jerseys worn by players during official league games are made at the Perry facility, as well as all WNBA game day jerseys and all jerseys worn by players in the NBA's development league. Schumer said Adidas is in the middle of a seven-year contract with ACO, but has decided to ditch this contract and manufacture all these jerseys overseas, at a factory in Thailand. This move would deprive the US of a line of business worth $7 million per year.

“The bottom line is these jerseys have always been and should always be made here in the United States. Adidas made an agreement with the NBA and American Classic Outfitters to make their jerseys in the United States and if they won't live up to their commitments, then the NBA should not be in business with Adidas. I urge Commissioner to press Adidas hard to do the right thing and stay in the United States.”

American Classic Outfitters (ACO) has a rich American history of designing and manufacturing custom athletic uniforms for sports teams at all levels of play, including the NBA. ACO has been making NBA jerseys for nearly half a century at the facility in Perry, NY. The company prides itself in its long-established tradition of hand-crafting quality team uniforms.

In 2008, ACO secured a long-term contract with Adidas to become its exclusive provider of customized sports apparel. As a result of winning the contract with Adidas, American Classic Outfitters invested over $1 million in facility improvements and equipment to produce the game day jerseys for the NBA. Recently, Adidas announced that they are going to move operations overseas, despite being in the middle of a five year contract. The move puts the more than 100 jobs at the ACO facility in Perry, at risk and could significantly impact the local economy.

In an effort to preserve the jobs at ACO, Schumer urged Adidas to maintain jersey production at the facility.

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer

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