REEBOK/NBA PROPERTIES DEAL BECOMES OFFICIAL
Reebok and NBA Properties announced their multiyear
licensing and marketing agreement yesterday as expected. In
addition to NBA team licensed apparel that should hit shelves in
the U.S. and Canada in August, Reebok will also continue its ad
buys of NBA coverage on Turner and NBC and be involved in the Jam
Session events at the NBA All Star Games in '96 and '97 (NBA).
Reebok has already premiered a new commercial featuring Sonic
Shawn Kemp in his jersey for the Reebok Kamikaze II (THE DAILY).
Leo Burnett of Chicago will apparently create the Reebok spots
(N.Y. TIMES, 10/25). MORE REACTION: Columnist John McManus
writes in the current BRANDWEEK that Reebok's NBA deal has
"changed the rules in the on-going game against Nike." McManus
believes Reebok's "image building potential" is now "more
credible" with athletes it wants as endorsers, consumers, and
retailers, "who are going to respect Reebok a whole lot more now
that its sales teams get to walk into stores wearing NBA halos."
McManus adds, "Watch how fast Foot Locker, a longtime Reebok
nemesis, comes around once Reebok/NBA apparel hits the
marketplace" (BRANDWEEK, 10/23 issue).
NEW REEBOK DIVISION PRESIDENT SIGNALS STABILITY: Reebok's
hiring of Robert Meers as President and CEO of its brands
division signals the company has "seemingly opted against radical
changes" as it "struggles to keep up" with Nike, writes Chris
Reidy of the BOSTON GLOBE. Reidy reports since last spring,
Reebok Chair Paul Fireman had split the responsibilities of the
brands division with Exec VP Paul Duncan, which corresponded with
their resignation of John Durden and Roberto Muller, who were
division co-presidents. Meers' responsibilities at Brands will
include a role in new designs and helping "improve relations with
Foot Locker," with which "Reebok has struggled." Meanwhile,
Duncan will apparently take many of Meers' current
responsibilities as head of the company's specialties business
group, including the Greg Norman brand, Avia and Rockport. Meers
will continue to report to Fireman (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/24).