Reebok is one of the top producers of shoes, accessories and apparel in the global sports market as of 2011. A subsidiary of Adidas-Salomon AG, a company focused on producing sports-related equipment, Reebok has a long line of history in partnering with major sports outfits such as the National Basketball Association and famous celebrities such as Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Allen Iverson, Christina Ricci and Stevie Williams. Reebok is a strong contender in the sports market due to the company's many strengths.
J.W. Foster started Reebok as a shoemaking business during early 1890s. According to the company's website, Foster started this business because “athletes wanted to run faster.” To appeal to this desire, Foster designed spiked running shoes, which later became the reason for the company’s success. One of the company’s milestones occurred in 1924 Summer Games, where the company provided all the running shoes worn by the athletes.
The company aptly changed its name in 1958 — renaming the brand as Reebok — which came from the name of an African gazelle. From the 1960s until mid-2000, Reebok introduced various innovative products and campaigns helping people improve their athletic performance. In 2006, Reebok joined the Adidas-Salomon AG, becoming a member of a large group of companies producing sporting goods.
Programs and Innovations
Reebok continuously produces innovative products and programs to satisfy customer demands. One such innovative program occurred during 1981, when the company focused its attention designing the first sport shoe specifically for women. Known as the “Freestyle” campaign, the company focused on popularizing aerobics as a form of exercise and helped build a landscape where women can excel in sports and exercise.
During the 1990s, the company focused on partnering with the most talented athletes, creating products designed for a specific sport. One such partnership involved golfer Greg Norman, with whom Reebok created “The Greg Norman Collection,” a vast collection of golf apparel and accessories.
Partnerships with Major Athletic Organizations
One of Reebok’s strengths comes from its partnerships with major athletic organizations. In 2000, Reebok struck an exclusive deal with the National Football League. The company gained rights to produce official NFL products commercially, as well as allowing the company to create apparels and shoes for all the NFL teams.
In 2001, Reebok partnered with the National Basketball Association. Aside from creating commercial products for the NBA, Reebok also gained rights to produce on-court apparel and practice gear for the NBA, the WNBA and the NBA’s minor league, the National Basketball Development League (NBDL).
Diversified Sport Products and Market Domination
Reebok has a habit of creating and dominating exclusive markets in the world of sports. In 2004, Reebok acquired The Hockey Company and turned it into “Reebok Hockey.” This branch of Reebok exclusively produces and distributes game apparel of all National Hockey League teams. Aside from the NHL, Reebok Hockey also provides sports equipment to other hockey organizations, such as the American Hockey League, the East Coast Hockey League and the Canadian Hockey League.
Aside from providing equipment to athletic organizations, Reebok also creates projects designed for the average person. Their latest contribution on women’s fitness manifested in 2009 when they released the EasyTone footwear, a sport shoe with an innovative design aimed at toning the legs and posteriors of women. According to their official website, the EasyTone footwear’s technology was “invented by a former NASA engineer.”