Reebok is the oldest running shoe company, having been started by a cobbler in the UK in the 1890s. Capitalizing on American Paul Fireman’s foresight into the dance craze, aerobic craze, and later the rise of casual street basketball shoes, Reebok quickly became the number-one selling running shoe, easily beating and staying ahead of the then near-15-year-old Nike. In 1988, Reebok launched its first brand campaign, U.B.U. (ie, Reebok lets you be you). However, it went up against Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign. Whereas Nike successfully targeted the newly coined “athletic shoe market” and cornered the performance market, Reebok lost sales during this campaign. Reebok then began vacillating between messages to women, messages about performance, and messages about fashion, with the result being a lack of brand identity and a slow decline to second, third, and finally fourth position in sales, behind Nike, Adidas, and New Balance. Though Reebok launched the largest global campaign of all in the early 2000s, “I Am What I Am,” giving the brand a point of view as a brand for the individual, it has never recovered from a fourth selling position. In 2006, German sports giant Adidas Group purchased Reebok for $3.8 billion, in an attempt to gang up on Nike. According to its corporate statement, Adidas’ vision is to provide each and every athlete - from professional athletes, to recreational runners, to kids on the playground - with the opportunity, the products, and the inspiration to achieve what they are capable of. Advertising campaigns:
Reebok's United Kingdom-based ancestor company was founded for one of the best reasons possible: athletes wanted to run faster. So Joseph William Foster made some of the first known running shoes with spikes in them. The family-owned business proudly made the running shoes worn in the 1924 Summer Olympics-Paris by the athletes celebrated in the film "Chariots of Fire." The movie is an inspirational true-story, showing commitment and hard work of athletes, and has a motivational-feel to it. Reebok positioned its shoes in the movie to support its campaign to tell athletes that they can run faster. Chariots of Fire movie trailer link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWle59ZHPIM In 1958, two of the founder's grandsons started a companion company that came to be known as Reebok, named after an African gazelle. In 1979, Paul Fireman, a partner in an outdoor sporting goods distributorship, introduced Reebok’s three running shoes in the U.S. that year. The advertisement ‘Outperform’ talks about the invention of the spiked-shoe by J.W. Foster, and highlights its importance in sports today. The feel of the advertisement is ‘encouraging’ and highlights the ability of the spiked-shoe ‘Vector’ enabling athletes to outperform. Outperform Ad link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0UcqnXbvcs 1980’s:
In 1982, Reebok introduced the first athletic shoe designed especially for women; a shoe for a hot new fitness exercise called aerobic dance. The shoe was called the Freestyle™, and with it Reebok anticipated and encouraged three major trends that transformed the athletic footwear industry: the aerobic exercise movement, the influx of women into sports and exercise and the acceptance of well-designed athletic footwear by adults for street and casual wear. Explosive growth followed, which Reebok fueled with new product categories, making Reebok an industry leader.
Reebok Freestyle™ shoe
Creating innovative products that generate excitement in the marketplace has been a central corporate strategy ever since Reebok introduced the Freestyle. In the late 1980s, a particularly productive period began with The Pump® technology and continues today, with breakthrough concepts and technologies for numerous sports and fitness activities. The advertisements show the power of Pump technology as an innovation which makes the athlete powerful. (for example, the ad below, the basketball-pole is...
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