It was early 2006 when Adidas acquired shoe giant Reebok for 3.8 billion dollars. Adidas hoping to get out of a three year fiscal decline, did the unthinkable by refocusing Reebok on its 1980s market strength — selling aerobic shoes to women — Adidas managed to turn the brand around. Analysts say the turnaround will be short lived, seeing as Reebok just lost a huge deal to Nike Inc. to supply jerseys and accessories to the NFL.
Last year, the brand signed famous rapper/ music producer Swizz Beats who released the successful “Kamikazie” line. He collaborated with rapper Rick R and released the street anthem “Reebok’s Back” which was a re-tooling of Meek Mill’s hit song “Tupac Back”. Reebok Classics Product Manager Damion Presson called the “Reebok’s Back” collaboration anything but expected.
“I think it was totally unexpected,” Presson said when asked about Reebok’s reaction to Ross’ “Reebok’s Back” track. “I don’t think anyone expected that and that’s kind of how Swizz [Beatz] operates. He just does things and you’re like, ‘Wow.’ I think the reaction from the building, when the rest of the company heard it, was just blown away. He did a song with one of the hottest rappers in the game right now– about Reebok. ‘Reebok’s Back.’ I mean, people were just blown away. Everyone was just taken back like, ‘Wow, this guy just goes so hard.’ So it really shows the passion and I think people here at Reebok appreciate that and that’s why they’ll go the extra mile for Swizz because they know he’s out there on the street going hard…It’s funny because I work so closely with him that sometimes I’ll have designers walk by me and say, ‘Reebok Is Back’, the song, just because they’re excited and they know I have a close relationship with Swizz. So it’s an exciting time. It’s very, very exciting. “
2012 seems to be the year of change for Reebok, they have re-focused their efforts to consumers in their twenties by will launching at least eight new products in 2012. However, in the 2011 annual report, Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer said,” innovation alone isn’t enough for brand success without a clear consumer understanding of what the brand truly represents. “And this is where we turn our attention to for Reebok in 2012.”
Recently Reebok has signed a big endorsement deal, adding Rick Ross to the roster of Tyga and Mike Posner for their new campaign “It Takes A Lot To Make A Classic.”