Lakewood athletic director Mike Wadley has been busy during the COVID-19 high school sports shutdown. Wadley is helping oversee a new stadium (with turf field and all-weather track) set to break ground in February, a redesign and renovation of the school’s weight room (also beginning in February), and last week announced that the school had signed a rare school-wide deal with apparel provider adidas.
Typically, individual teams will sign a deal with an apparel provider, with sometimes as many as four or five providers working with different teams on one campus. Under Lakewood’s new deal, all sports teams on campus will be outfitted in adidas along with the school’s band, cheer, and ROTC programs.
“Adidas has been wanting to do it for a while, and I’m really excited about it,” said Wadley. “We’ve got banners coming in, online stores for everyone–they’re doing displays and a bunch of cool stuff for us. It’s going to be a total community thing. It’s going to be great for the school, I’m fired up.”
Wadley is the longtime girls’ volleyball coach at Lakewood, and his team has been sponsored by adidas for the past eight years, while the school’s football team has been in adidas for the last four years. Those two longstanding relationships sparked the conversation for the school-wide deal.
“It’s about the service, they’ve been great with us, and they’re big on high school sports,” said Wadley.
The apparel deal is just the start of what Wadley hopes will be a campus-wide rejuvenation as students return to campus and sports restart later in 2021. In addition to the stadium and weight room renovations, he’s also planning on starting a Lakewood athletics Hall of Fame.
“We want to really bring back a lot of that Lakewood spirit, and this is all a part of it,” said Wadley.
He knew that he and football coach Scott Meyer would be automatic “yes” votes for the plan, but was cautious about how other teams would respond to it.
“I thought our biggest hurdle would be baseball but they bought in right away,” he said. “It probably doesn’t hurt that JP Crawford is an adidas athlete.”
The school has also debuted a new logo that has more of a throwback look. The “L” had become the most-used logo around campus for the last several years, but as part of the adidas deal it’s going by the wayside in favor of an image of a charging Lancer. The logo will be featured on a lot of the new gear as well as at center field of the new stadium when it’s completed, according to Wadley.
“This entire effort is about trying to use this time to get ready for when we open up, to have everyone excited and feeling good,” said Wadley. “I was talking to (activities director) Worren Booth and we were both saying, ‘It can’t be the same when we open up. We’ve got to get everyone feeling that community spirit, we’ve gotta be different.’”