Now the secondary brand within Adidas Group, Reebok struggled with several years of steady decline before finally seeming to find its feet in 2014 with a focus on fitness rather than sport, and more recently on "tough fitness", and also a greater emphasis on women's apparel. At one point in the 1980s it was - briefly - the world's top-selling sports shoe, but its position slipped steadily over the next few decades. Like its rivals, the company felt the pinch from the global shift away from white trainers in the late 1990s. Reebok was a little slower to manage a rebound, despite diversification into other clothing lines, such as Rockport walking shoes and boots. More recently, the group scored a hit with its street-oriented Rbk range which was closely aligned with the rap music and urban fashion markets and in 2005, the company agreed to be acquired by Adidas for around $3.8bn, creating a stronger competitor to leader Nike. Yet despite the best efforts of Adidas the brand suffered fresh declines over the next couple of years, falling behind rival Puma in 2008 to languish in last place among the big four brands. There were, finally, signs of a turnaround from 2009 as a result of the success of new fitness sub-brand Easytone (now Skyscape), and partnerships with CrossFit, UFC, Les Mills training and others. Brand sales for 2017 were €1.8bn, up modestly on the year before, but only a little over a tenth of what the Adidas brand generates. International sales are growing, but in North America performance remains flat or negative. Matt O'Toole is brand president. Though generally regarded as an American brand, Reebok's roots lie in Bolton in the North of England, where shoemaker Joseph Foster was making spiked running shoes at the end of the 19th century. Much later the business was acquired by its North American licensee.
Capsule checked 10th October 2018
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Adbrands Daily Update 13th Mar 2019: Dick's Sporting Goods took further steps to limit sales of guns and related equipment through its stores, despite a continuing negative impact on financial performance. Traditionally, one of America's biggest gun retailers, it has also taken a lead in scaling back its exposure to the sector in the wake of recent mass shootings in the US. This week, the company said it would remove guns from sale in 125 outlets, and would consider expanding that policy to further stores depending on public reaction. In an unrelated announcement that represents a serious blow to sportswear manufacturer Adidas, Dick's also said it would stop selling the Reebok brand and instead launch its own inhouse brand, which it expects to generate better sales.
Adbrands Social Media 12th Mar 2019: "Storm the Court". Venables Bell & Partners' final campaign for soon-to-depart client Reebok is either a work of genius or a bizarre satirical in-joke. To be honest we can't decide. We wondered at first if we were watching a trailer for Jordan Peele's new movie. It's certainly creepy enough for the first half of its running time, before it somehow morphs into a K-Pop music video. Unexpected is right. Still, the client clearly loved it. It will be interesting to see how newly appointed Deutsch build on the Reebok brand once they get their hands on it.
Adbrands Weekly Update 10th Nov 2016: New Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted announced plans to restructure the group's second-string brand Reebok in order to improve profitability. Reebok is growing," he said, "but it is growing significantly slower than Adidas and also slower than many competitors. There hasn’t been any growth in Reebok’s home market, North America, the past three years. Profitability is still significantly below the group’s average. Therefore, it is now time to get back to the gym and redouble our efforts." Among other initiatives, he plans to streamline staffing while also establishing a dedicated Reebok sales team. Around half of Reebok's branded outlets will close, and it will also quit its standalone HQ in Canton, Massachusetts. Adidas's North America HQ is in Portland, also home to Nike.
Adbrands Weekly Update 29th Jan 2015: Ads of the Week "Freak Show". Parent group Adidas is really firing on all cylinders at the moment, creatively at least. This is our fourth consecutive Ad Of The Week selection for either Adidas or Reebok. Unlike that light-hearted chicken spot from a fortnight ago, this one from Venables Bell & Partners focuses on Reebok's harder-edged rep, highlighting its involvement with CrossFit training and the Spartan and Tough Mudder endurance races. The results are very cool indeed. Separately, the group confirmed the $280m sale of Rockport, the casual footwear brand that had been part of the Reebok business. The buyer is private equity firm Berkshire Partners, with backing from rival sportswear company New Balance. A newly independent Rockport Group will combine the existing Rockport brand with New Balance's Drydock casual footwear subsidiary, whose brands are Cobb Hill, Aravon and Dunham. Drydock's Bob Infantino becomes CEO of the new Rockport Group.
Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Jan 2015: Ads of the Week "Live Free Range". Struggling sportswear brand Reebok gets its mojo back with this excellent new spot from Venables Bell & Partners. Don't put up with a workout in a gym like a battery farm - it's time to live free range. Great stuff!
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