SBD/Issue 207/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Reebok Trying To Get Re-established In Basketball-Shoe Market

Reebok Debuted Commercial Featuring
Wall During Last Month's NBA Draft

Many are wondering why Reebok, "after successfully readjusting its focus to target the women's market, and making great gains with both its ZigTech training shoe and its Easy Tone sneakers, would get back into the basketball-shoe endorsement business when that sector of the sneaker world is losing market share," according to Rich Thomaselli of AD AGE. Reebok VP/Global Brand Marketing Rich Prenderville said, "We've worked very hard and we've had some success in the last 10 to 12 months, so we're reinvesting that success back into the brand in the right places. Look, you don't see a sports marketing announcement come out from us once a week or once a day. We're about quality. This is totally on strategy for us." SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell noted that while the overall sneaker market in the U.S. is valued at $17.4B -- Nike owns 35% of the market to 2.6% for Reebok -- the basketball-shoe market is a $2.4B business, "down 17% from 2005." Nike also controls 93% of the basketball-shoe market while Reebok is fourth at 1.6%. Reebok last month signed Wizards draft pick G John Wall to a five-year, $25M endorsement deal and Prenderville said that Reebok "will bring Mr. Wall along slowly." One 30-second spot, via DDB, to introduce Wall debuted last month during the NBA Draft. A "more comprehensive campaign is slated for the fall, when the Wall shoe hits the market." Prenderville: "We'll have a slow build-up as we take John forward, but we'll have a fully integrated marketing campaign." Sporting Goods Intelligence Publisher John Horan said, "They feel this is the tie to get back in that business. Reebok gets a break because John Wall is going to a big market, I-95 team in Washington. But the kids that buy these shoes are very discriminating. The product better be good, and John Wall better be good" (AD AGE, 7/12 issue).

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