Authentic Brands Group (ABG), a renowned marketing and licensing expert, is making waves in its efforts to reshape the iconic Reebok brand. Founded by Jamie Salter in 2010, ABG has quickly established itself as a major player in the fashion and lifestyle industry. It is set to complete its acquisition of Reebok from Adidas for €2.1 billion in the first quarter of 2022, garnering attention and curiosity about how ABG plans to revitalize the brand.

One of ABG’s notable moves is its distribution deal with JD Sports, a prominent UK sport retail group. JD Sports will now distribute Reebok products across Europe and the USA through its various stores, including JD, Finish Line, and SportZone. This non-exclusive agreement covers both footwear and apparel and signifies Reebok’s ambition to compete with other major sportswear players like Nike, Adidas, and Puma.

Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD Sports, expressed his excitement about the partnership, highlighting Reebok’s strong resonance with JD’s customers. Cowgill believes that Reebok aligns perfectly with JD’s sports and active lifestyle verticals. The partnership will officially commence during the next Fall/Winter season and bring fresh and enticing products to JD’s growing Gen Z audience.

To further bolster the revival of Reebok, ABG has introduced the Reebok Design Group (RDG) through its subsidiary, SPARC (Simon Properties Authentic Retail Concepts). SPARC serves as a brand strategy developer, overseeing technical design, marketing, and distribution. The establishment of RDG aims to preserve Reebok’s identity and enhance its global design capabilities.

ABG has also forged partnerships with renowned companies to expand Reebok’s presence worldwide. These partners include the Falic Group in Latin America (excluding Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina), Accent Group Limited in Australia and New Zealand, MGS in Israel, and Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited in India and Southeast Asia. ABG must navigate existing Reebok subsidiaries and long-term partners to ensure a seamless global presence for the brand.

Despite the challenges ahead, ABG is committed to preserving Reebok’s heritage and unique DNA. Jamie Salter, the founder and CEO of ABG, emphasizes the importance of maintaining the brand’s essence and global network of partners. Salter commends the expertise that RDG will bring to Reebok’s future.

In 2020, Reebok recorded €1.4 billion in revenue, with its highest sales in the EMEA region (€636 million), followed by North America (€397 million), China (€86 million), the rest of the Asia-Pacific region (€162 million), and Latin America (€125 million). As ABG works on revitalizing the brand, it must strategically plan to sustain and expand Reebok’s global presence.

ABG’s acquisition of Reebok signifies a significant milestone for the company. With its extensive experience in marketing and licensing, ABG is well-positioned to inject new life into the beloved brand. As the Reebok revival unfolds, the fashion and lifestyle industry eagerly awaits the next chapter of the brand under ABG’s guidance.

Useful links:
1. Forbes article on Adidas selling Reebok
2. Business of Fashion article on ABG’s acquisition of Reebok