Reebok readies 2013 global marketing blitz

Reebok is readying a global marketing blitz featuring several fitness pursuits such as running and yoga as the sportswear giant steps up efforts to persuade people to view keeping fit with the same “passion” as they do traditional sports.

Sportswear business vows to change the way people perceive fitness by focusing its marketing on several fitness pursuits such as running in 2013.

The TV, print, digital and outdoor campaign is to launch in February. It will also see the business crowdsource product designs from fitness trainers through several grassroots initiatives.

The marketing drive moves Reebok’s brand strategy on from its previous focus around fitness programme Crossfit. It launched a global campaign around Crossfit at the start of the year after signing a 10-year deal with the training regime in 2010.

While Reebok has aligned itself to plenty of professional sports over the years, its immersion in fitness and Crossfit is “unprecedented”, according to the company, adding that the next stage of the strategy is to convey the “competitive nature of fitness as a sport.”

Speaking to Marketing Week, Chris Froio, vice president of fitness and training at Reebok, says by focusing on different categories the brand will have more opportunities to show how fitness has all the “elements that we love about traditional sports.”

He adds: “We want people to view fitness with the same passion ad energy that they have for traditional sports. It’s important that we get across how accessible it is compared to professional sports. There are 3 billion people around the world who live a fitness lifestyle as oppose to a few million people who might play any particular sport.

“We’re striking an important duality in our advertising where we want to make sure that people understand that we stand for fitness as a lifestyle but also emphasise the innovation behind our products.

Reebok will be hoping the marketing strategy will help lift the business after sales slumped 26 per cent in its second quarter. The Adidas-owned company restructured its marketing team into units focusing on fitness categories; CrossFit, fitness running, gym, yoga and dance last month to support the strategy.

Froio says that despite the slump in sales in recent months, the brand is now seeing “definite growth”, adding the expects to see an uplift in sales going into the new year.

He adds: “We know the reasons for why are sales were so down in Q2 and we’ve changed the business to address this. We’ve reorganised ourselves around different categories to drive growth. The ultimate goal of what we’re trying to do is become so much more focused on winning in one area as oppose to trying to be all things to all people in the sport world.”

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