Ada City Schools Athletic Director Bryan Harwell warns that local businesses are being hoodwinked out of advertising money.

Companies are contacting local business owners, requesting money to support Ada athletics and have no connection with Ada City Schools or its athletic programs.

“Companies are contacting businesses and saying they are representing Ada athletics and offering to produce advertising merchandise such as footballs, towels and water bottles,” Harwell explained. “They are telling the business that we will distribute those during athletic events. We cannot and will not, due to contract agreements we have with our athletic sponsors.”

Harwell said the Ada athletic department recently received a shipment of Ada Cougar hand towels and had to dispose of them.

“We have to throw those items away. The companies will tell you that they have spoken with an administrator who has agreed to allow them to advertise. This is absolutely not true,” Harwell said. “We do not have any exclusive agreements with an advertising company.”

Harwell said the only company Ada is currently working with is Mascot Media.

“We receive a percentage of the advertising money they collect. Other than Mascot Media, we do not have a contract with any other company,” he said.

Harwell urged any local business owner to contact him at 580-310-7200 first before agreeing to sponsor anything Cougar sports-related.

“If a business or individual is interested in partnering with Ada Cougar athletics, please contact me,” Harwell said. “We have several packages to meet most budgets. Businesses who advertise through our athletic department can be assured they are helping to fund all sports in our athletic department.”

Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.