Adidas Taking Reebok Back to its Performance Roots
By George Anderson
Adidas-Solomon chairman and CEO Herbert Hainer said Reebok made its reputation as a performance brand and, now that his company has acquired the business, he intends to bring it back to its roots.
Speaking via satellite to attendees at the World Shoe Association forum, Mr. Hainer said Reebok was the company that first introduced the pump system to athletic shoes and rumors that it was going to turn the brand into an entry level offering were baseless.
Rob Langstaff, president of Adidas-Solomon’s U.S. operations, believes having an internal competition going on between the Reebok and Adidas brands will ultimately make both stronger.
“It is like two children in the home, where one is very good at playing soccer and the other is very good at playing basketball and football,” he said. “They share the same infrastructure and cheer each other, but compete at the same time.”
Mr. Hainer believes owning Reebok will help his company gain ground with consumers in the urban market as well as football, basketball, hockey, aerobics and classics.
Technology and innovation would continue to drive athletic shoe sales in 2006, said Mr. Hainer.
Adidas recently launched its smart shoe with a computer chip in the sole that allows the shoe to change the cushioning level in real time based on the wearer’s weight, running surface and pace. The shoe’s sole becomes softer or firmer depending on the conditions present.
According to Hainer, Adidas has already sold 100,000 pairs of the $250 shoes.
Moderator’s Comment: What do you think of Adidas-Solomon’s announced plan for Reebok? How does the company balance the needs of the various competing
performance brands under its ownership? –
George Anderson – Moderator
says will make Reebok more a performance brand – Reuters
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