SBD/October 2, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Reebok's Partnerships With Fitness Groups Like CrossFit Appear To Be Paying Off

Reebok has partnerships with CrossFit, Les Mills and the Spartan Race
Reebok is "turning to sponsorship deals with prominent fitness groups to try to revive a venerable name that has faded" since adidas acquired the brand in '06, according to Victoria Bryan of REUTERS. Reebok is "winning converts among hardcore sports enthusiasts and aims to build on this support to make up ground it has lost to rivals such as global market leader Nike." In addition to its CrossFit partnership, Reebok has linked with fitness group Les Mills and the Spartan Race, while CrossFit "is attracting devotees in Europe." Reebok's effort "already appears to be paying off," as when adidas "warned on its profit last month, analysts were quick to note that Reebok was, for once, not cited as a problem." adidas said that it "needs several brands to cover the whole of the global sportswear market." While the adidas brand is "big in soccer and basketball," Reebok is "focused on fitness and fashion." Reebok's focus on fitness is "not unlike a renewed emphasis on soccer deals, team sports and running products now underway at rival Puma." adidas Chair & CEO Herbert Hainer "has predicted growth in coming years" for Reebok. Industry experts "applaud Adidas for stepping back from growing sales" to improve Reebok’s gross profit margin. Reebok makes up around 10% of adidas’ sales, while Reebok’s share of the global $245B sportswear market "has slipped" to 1.8% in '12 from 2.1% in '07 (REUTERS, 10/1).
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