SBD/Issue 54/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

If The Shoe Fits: Iverson, Reebok Settle On A Lifetime Deal

Iverson Inks Reebok's First Lifetime Deal

Reebok Int'l announced last night a lifetime deal with 76ers G Allen Iverson that is projected to pay him about $10M this year, "with minimum guarantees in successive years," according to Stephen Smith of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, who writes the deal "is listed as an extension" of the 10-year, $50M deal Iverson signed five and a half years ago. While Reebok execs "would not discuss specifics, the $50[M] is said to be the minimum amount Iverson could receive under the new deal." Reebok and 76ers execs both said that they "expect that the $10[M] annual figure should not dip considerably over the next few years as long as Iverson's apparel line — and Reebok itself — continue to do well and Iverson is playing." Smith adds, "there is a morals clause in the contract, although sources would not describe what it says" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 11/29). Reebok Chair Paul Fireman: "This is the only time I've signed, literally, a lifetime contract — one in which we will work every day diligently on behalf of Allen and Reebok." In Philadelphia, John Smallwood writes, "with Reebok set to unveil" an ad campaign in early '02, Iverson "is scheduled for increased visibility on [TV], in magazines and on the Internet." Reebok also plans "to develop a broader line of Iverson's signature I-3 products" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 11/29). Fireman, on Iverson's marketability: "Reebok has only just begun to experience the vast benefits of Allen's enormous appeal to young men who admire his authenticity, integrity, passion and tenacity." Iverson stated, "Reebok as been with me since day one, and they have stuck with me through good times and bad" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 11/28). The AP's Rob Maaddi reported that Iverson's signature shoe, "The Answer," has been "among the top sellers in the industry since its inception five years ago" (AP, 11/28). During TNT's broadcast of Wizards-76ers last night, analyst Hubie Brown said of Iverson, "His sneaker during the fiscal year that just passed was the highest selling sneaker in all of the business. That's kind of interesting" (TNT, 11/28).

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