I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I’ve always viewed Reebok as a forgettable brand, in comparison to the more prominent athlesisure brands Nike, Puma and adidas. In actual fact, according to numerous reports, the brand has always had to fight to maintain their place at the top of the charts for active-wear shoes, and continues to struggle against competition. However, the company has done a wonderful job of ensuring that it stays on its feet. In 2006, Reebok was acquired by adidas for $3.8 billion, which fortunately saw them maintaining the brand name and executive leadership, in an effort to chip away at now industry giant, Nike. Following the acquisition, Reebok resurfaced with a newly refreshed strategy, focusing in its original forte – to be the leading fitness brand in the world.
In order to achieve their key strategic goal, the brand formed a partnership with the millennial target and four fitness brands defining modern exercise, the most key being CrossFit. Part of the partnership sees Reebok gaining exclusive licensing rights to CrossFit’s trademark and title sponsorship of its summer games. “The real test is still in front of us – making the Reebok brand more relevant to consumers,” former adidas Group CEO Herbert Hainer said to shareholders in a 2007 annual report. Hainer may have said this 10 years ago, but it seems Reebok is still striving to become more relevant to consumers.Reebok’s path is quite clear, to carve out a place in the modern fitness market. Well 2017 seems to be the year the brand is going hard, if their brand ambassadors are anything to go by. In 2014 Reebok announced a groundbreaking partnership with Compton rapper, Kendrick Lamar, that would see him joining the Reebok Classics squad. The news was announced through a campaign centered around Kendrick titled “I Am”. Reebok’s Director of Entertainment Marketing, Damion Presson, the man responsible for orchestrating the partnership, recently told Complex magazine, “I basically chased Kendrick for about two years. It took about two years to get them to call me back. I was constantly calling, calling, and calling, and finally we met out in Vegas and had a great meeting. They were ready to do a partnership, and then we actually made it happen.” Lord, I cannot imagine waiting on a celebrity for two years, not even for my Kim K. The latest shoe, his third collaboration with Reebok, a new retro sneaker crafted to promote “unity and equality” launched a few weeks ago.
Model of the moment, Gigi Hadid is no stranger to the pressures of perfection placed on women, particularly as a supermodel living under the constant scrutiny of a global audience of naysayers. “Working out isn’t only physical for me. It’s mental. It helps me escape the noise in my head. It’s the only time my mind goes quiet.” shared Hadid in the brand’s #PerfectNever campaign. “When I was a competitive athlete, I used to be so focused on being perfect that my coaches would take me out of competing all together. I’d focus on my mistakes, which would breed more missteps – a domino effect. Until I learned to change the channel, to re-focus, re-set. It was my mistakes, my imperfections that motivated me most,” she added. The campaign was however faced a lot of controversy, with most critics questioning whether Hadid was a suitable face for a movement challenging women to accept their bodies and feel empowered through physical fitness. Clearly Reebok is pleased with their choice, Gigi is currently fronting the brand’s Club C collection, alongside fellow Ambassador, Kendrick Lamar.
Once again proving that they are on a mission to do the most in 2017, Reebok announced that Dancer, actress and G.O.O.D. Music artist Teyana Taylor has entered into a long-term partnership with Reebok Classic. “Teyana Taylor is the perfect collaborator to join the Reebok family,” Todd Krinsky, Global Vice President of Reebok Classic and Entertainment, said in a statement. “She is a risk-taker who brings her own perspective to every project and she stands uniquely at the intersection of fashion, music and fitness, which are the core tenets of Reebok Classic. This partnership continues to solidify Reebok’s commitment to women who express themselves through confidence in style,” he added.
Our very own Supa Mega also shared with excitement that he is the new Ambassador of Reebok SA. The “The World Is Yours” rapper has inked a long-term partnership with the athleisure brand. Unfortunately, no further details have been provided by the brand regarding the partnership. We can only look forward to what they have in store for us.