By Mark F. Gray
AFRO Staff Writer
Former sports talk host turned athletic apparel entrepreneur Rocky Parrish is coming off the sidelines and getting into the game once again. His latest venture hopes to address two ways of surviving the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parrish announced on Facebook that his RockDeep Global franchise will be trying to get limited medical supplies to healthcare facilities at wholesale prices. He is also offering sales and referral opportunities to anyone who is currently unemployed to generate income for themselves during these perilous financial times.
“We’re not going to make anybody rich,” Parrish told the AFRO in an exclusive interview. “But hopefully it will be enough to help bridge the gap because how long does $1,200 last when it comes to paying your bills these days.”
The company is converting one of its Alexandria, Virginia buildings into the RockDeep Supply Store. It will become a COVID-19 emporium for consumers and health care facilities. The stock will consist of currently hard to come by items such as surgical masks, scrubs, latex gloves, ventilators, and hand sanitizer.
In a former life, the former sports talk show host at D.C. ‘s 106.7 The Fan worked as a government contractor and in marketing with the Nike shoe company. Each of those professional opportunities gave him a perspective on how things run on both sides of the aisle- in the business of working with the public and private sector. It has also served him well with his locally based sports garment enterprise.
“I’m looking to fulfill a need and cut through the red tape,” said Parrish. “Everyone tries to bleed the government, but we don’t have any time for that right now. Things are being stockpiled and I believe my suppliers can help us do our part to make these important items available quicker and cheaper for everybody.”
RockDeep has carved an underground niche in the sports apparel industry by producing the same quality of gear as the major companies, but selling them to retail consumers at wholesale prices. His company has a vast array of vendors who have access to the merchandise that is currently in such demand. While many of those vendors are profit driven, Parrish said he feels he has a greater purpose.
“It’s by nature that Black people are always looking to try and help the next man,” Parrish said. “This is not a time for politics, it’s a time for progress.”
Parrish is using the same business model which has been successful with his latest venture. RockDeep is offering a commissioned based sales plan for those who are confined to their homes because of social distancing. For every lead that is generated and evolves into a sale the company is paying a five percent commission for every order.
“Nobody has to worry about closing the deal,” Parrish said. “If they make the contact then forward me the information about the facility or what items they are looking to purchase. I will take care of the rest and they will collect on the commission. It’s just that simple.”