From AAPSNews Service
The Ann Arbor Public Schools has contracted with Advantage Sports LLC, a new Ann Arbor business, for licensing and use of all high school logos and graphics in the production and sale of high school spirit wear.
Located at 2019 W. Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor, in the former Big George’s Appliance site, Advantage Sports will be the exclusive provider of AAPS sports logo apparel that is sold to the public, returning a percentage of sales to the district and its sports teams. The store opened on Jan. 3, 2011.
AAPS Director of Communications Liz Margolis said the two-year agreement will help both the school district and high school teams by controlling the use of the district’s trademarked items and bringing additional revenue to the district that it did not have before. The agreement runs through Feb. 11, 2013.
“They came to us and asked to have a dedicated area, like a varsity shop,” Margolis said. “These will be priority items for the store. They want to give back to the community.”
Advantage Sports will provide a quarterly sales report to the district and pay the district 10 percent of proceeds from logo items sold in the store. Orders from sports teams, booster clubs or projects on which the company bids are not included.
The owners of Advantage Sports are brothers Scott and Jamie Schmunk and partner Mike Charles. “We really want to be part of the area,” said Scott Schmunk, who grew up in Ann Arbor and attended Thurston Elementary, Clague Middle School and graduated from Huron High School. “We want to know you when you come in. There’s always someone to talk sports with. We want people to feel free to come by.”
Margolis said the owners have already met with school athletic directors and are meeting with coaches and booster groups, as well. The company could bid on items such as team uniforms and shirts, but have the exclusive right to produce and sell items to the public with any Ann Arbor Public Schools logo from Pioneer, Huron or Skyline high schools, she said.
The store has an area in the front that will serve as the varsity shop area for high school spirit wear, which will include everything from t-shirts and golf-style shirts to sweatshirts and hats. Schmunk said he is working with his printer on artwork designs and hopes to have spirit wear inventory stocked in the coming weeks.
The 13,000-square-foot store sells sports apparel, sporting goods and equipment and at the rear of the store has a synthetic ice rink and turf area, batting cages, and leases space to a power skating instructor who does training on site. The store also has a skate sharpening and athletic equipment repair area staffed by Pat Brown, formerly of College Shoe Repair, and Geoff Blow of GB Sportz both well known in the area, Schmunk said.
On one recent morning, Ann Arbor resident Lee Victorian was having his ice skates sharpened and visiting with Blow. “Everyone knows he does good work,” Victorian said.
The idea for the store came about one year ago, when Schmunk’s brother and friend began talking about how they had to travel across town for the items they needed for their children’s sports teams. “Things just fell into place,” he said. “We’re here to supply for a team or an individual.”
He said he hopes customers will realize they can also come into the store and try apparel on instead of buying online.
Schmunk said the owners were basing their store on the former Stein & Goetz Sporting Goods store (now the M-Den) in downtown Ann Arbor, which was a one-stop-shop for student athletes and their apparel and gear needs. The store also used to be a place for visitors to stop by and talk sports – Schmunk said he hopes Advantage Sports will fill that role now.
Schmunk recalled a recent day where “we had 400 years of hockey experience just sitting here talking in this office.”
He said the staff is looking forward to working with student athletes both from the Ann Arbor Public Schools, as well as others in Ann Arbor sports travel programs. “People do want to support their schools and the money (we raise) is going back to the school,” he said.
The owners have had a soft opening in the first quarter and hope to plan an official grand opening event this spring. They are also planning a girls lacrosse clinic, possible field hockey clinics and coaching clinics on site.