After becoming fully member-owned in January, the next task for the
Athletic Dealers of America buying group was preparing for the Spring
Session, held July 19 through 22 in Louisville, KY. Pete Snyder,
president of the ADA, talked with Sports Executive Weekly in an
exclusive interview about the show. “The show was excellent. The show
was upbeat. The owners were very proud of their new company and that
feeling permeated the showfloor. The vendors did a good job of
welcoming the new company and we’re very excited about the changes that
we’ve been going through as well as the membership was. So it was a
very well received, well attended show. We had 203 booths on the floor
with 169 different vendors,” said Snyder.

The show was not solely about selling though, as the group also
sponsored seminars and hosted a special meeting with key vendors to
discuss the direction of the ADA now that it is owned by its members.
“We did a seminar on selling advertising specialty products as a way to
expand the team dealer market and we had a meeting with the vendors
that was basically a meeting of the board of directors with most of our
core vendors,” said Snyder. On the topic of the vendor meeting, he
continued, “we invited about 42 of our core vendors, the ones we do the
most volume with, to come in and hear from the board directly, exactly
what the new ADA’s direction was going to be, what changes we planned
to make in the ’08 show going forward and what relationships we were
looking to build. A lot of times when a company changes hands like we
did in January, there are some concerns about is there going to be a
major change in the direction, are we going to start importing direct
like some of the other buying groups do. We brought the core vendors in
to talk to the board members to make sure they knew totally where we
were going and to give them a chance to do some Q & A. It was very
well received, the vendors appreciated the ability to have some direct
input as well as be able to hear directly from the board what our
direction is.”

Next on the list for the ADA is the Fall Session that will take place in Kansas City, MO, October 26-28.