Reebok releases first glimpse at new brand direction in 2021

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Reebok

Dive Brief:

  • Ahead of the sale of Adidas, Reebok has released the first look at the brand’s “revamped creative direction” led by Kerby’s vice president of creative direction, Jean-Reymond.
  • Jean-Raymond joined Reebok last September and, along with artistic director of marketing Jide Osifeso, is creating a new vision for the brand. The video collection, dubbed “Reconnect,” is the first step in a change in Reebok’s creative direction, according to an e-mailed press release.
  • Reconnect includes a series of vignettes and one long video focusing on sports and community, directed by Jonas Lindstroem. The videos are available on YouTube and will also be shared through Reebok’s Instagram over the next few weeks.

Dive Insight:

Reebok has struggled for years to form a clear brand identity as Adidas switched its former athletic all-rounder to the fitness community. With a sale looming on the horizon, it seems fitting that Reebok is exploring the possibility of once again changing the direction of its brand.

“The opportunity for someone like me to contribute to a company with such a rich heritage is something special,” Osifeso said in a statement. “The opportunity to work with one of my brothers to challenge what a brand like Reebok can and should look like is not only exciting, but an important endeavor.”

Osifeso is creating an in-house creative agency that will take care of Reebok’s branding changes. In addition to the videos released Tuesday, Jean-Reymond and Osifeso will lead the brand’s new global campaign, scheduled for release in 2022. The first product line influenced by Jean-Reymond will also be released in 2022, and the first collection created entirely under his creative direction will be in 2023.

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In the past, Reebok has experienced difficulties under Adidas. As a result of these problems, the parent company developed a turnaround plan for Reebok in 2016 that helped “significantly improve profitability” and returned Reebok to positive earnings in 2018. Throughout 2020, there was much speculation that Adidas might sell the brand, which was finally confirmed in December as Adidas considered its options.

Since Reebok has changed a lot since its original acquisition in 2006, the sale gives the brand a chance to return to new markets and rediscover its brand identity. President Matt O’Toole recently told Retail Dive that Reebok wants to be a challenger brand that tells a bolder story than its competitors, and is also looking to expand its focus on sports lifestyles in general rather than fitness in particular.

“We have an opportunity to spread our wings and participate in more sports categories in the next few years, but the first item on the sports side of the equation versus lifestyle is to double our focus on the workout category,” O’Toole said.

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