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Reebok

By

Reebok
Image courtesy of Reebok

The Brand:

Reebok is a British producer of athletic footwear, apparel, and accessories. In January 2006, Reebok became a subsidiary of Adidas after the company acquired Reebok International Limited for $8 billion. The company’s global headquarters are in Boston, Massachusetts and the UK head office is located in Lancaster.

History:

The company’s original name was Mercury Sports but was renamed ‘Reebok’ in 1958. Reebok began in 1895 in a part of the UK known as Bolton. Joseph William Foster, an enthusiastic runner, wanted a pair of spiked running shoes. He got to work designing a pair of these specialized shoes for himself and ended up creating the first ‘foster’ running shoe. Other enthusiastic runners began asking Foster to create a pair for them and soon he began to manufacture for local athletes.

The company's founders, Joe and Jeff Foster, decided to rename Mercury Sports in 1958. The two happened upon the current brand’s name in a South African dictionary that was won in a running race by Joe Foster as a boy. The Reebok name comes from the Afrikaans/Dutch spelling of rhebok, a type of African gazelle (antelope).

Today:

In recent years, Reebok has looked beyond sole focus on athletic endorsement of their products. Rapper Jay-Z became the first non-athlete to get a signature shoe from Reebok in late 2003. This line, the "S. Carter Collection by Rbk," became the fastest selling shoe in the company’s history. Reebok had made similar deals with rapper 50 Cent (G-Unit sneakers), Nelly and Miri Ben-Ari.

During June of 2007, Reebok announced Scarlett Johansson was to become their newest brand ambassador. Johansson promotes and wears The Scarlett 'Hearts' Rbk" collection, a 'fashion-forward, athletic-inspired' footwear line that is targeted towards the Indian market..

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