The sun has set on the Reebok-Adidas era.
On Tuesday, the Boston-based footwear brand officially became part of the Authentic Brands Group (ABG) portfolio after the New York brand management firm closed on the $2.46 billion acquisition from Adidas.
“Reebok is a brand that needs no introduction,” ABG founder, chairman and CEO Jamie Salter said. “The Reebok team has done an incredible job of cementing Reebok’s place in the minds and hearts of consumers. Through ABG’s operating model, Reebok will have the ability to evolve and embrace its iconic creativity, quality and innovation. It’s time to let Reebok be Reebok.”
The SPARC Group joint venture that ABG runs along with Simon Property Group will become the key operating partner for Reebok in the U.S. The brand’s Boston headquarters will become the Reebok Design Center, with Reebok president Matt O’Toole and senior vice president and general manager for product Todd Krinsky remaining at the helm.
“Product has always been at the forefront of Reebok, and we are committed to upholding the standard that our brand fans and consumers have come to expect,” O’Toole said. “2021 was a banner year for Reebok, and in part that was a credit to our focus on the iconic silhouettes that immortalize the brand. Under new ownership, we have an exciting opportunity to reclaim our place in the market and take Reebok to even greater heights.”
Since the deal was announced in August, ABG has steadily amassed an operating roadmap for the brand that Shaquille O’Neal, himself a key partner to the brand manager and Juicy Couture parent, famously ditched years ago. So far ABG has amassed a number of partners to help it build out the business, especially for Greater China and India. The brand also forged a strategic partnership with JD Sports Fashion, and a deal with Foot Locker.
Just last week, ABG lined up New Guards Group to helm luxury collabs for Reebok. New Guards will also become the core operating partner for Reebok across Europe, taking on the sneaker label’s branded retail stores, wholesale distribution and e-commerce operations.
“Reebok is one of the few super brands that has the permission to play in any space,” Nick Woodhouse, ABG’s president and chief marketing officer, said. “Its position at the intersection of fashion, sports and culture allows Reebok to be elastic while staying true to its celebrated ethos and unmistakable DNA.”
The brand was established in 1958 in the U.K. as Reebok International Ltd. and was later acquired by Adidas in 2006 for $3.8 billion. Adidas has long struggled to maximize the brand’s potential, and chatter about a possible sale circulated in the fashion industry during fall 2020 before the Cardi B-approved Amazon collaborator was formally put on the market.