Reebok picks head of Euro sports

Reebok Europe has appointed Levi Strauss marketer Grace Pardy as European marketing director for the sports performance category. She joins the company next month.

Pardy will be responsible for managing the Reebok performance marketing and products across the Europe. She will also handle the brand’s sports partnerships, for instance with the 2005 Paris Marathon, and its relationships with athletes such as runner Kelly Holmes and tennis player Andy Roddick. She will report to vice-president of marketing Europe Andy Towne, who joined the company last year (MW March 4, 2004).

At Levi’s, Pardy was European brand marketing manager for the Dockers brand. Before joining Levi’s, she held a number of jobs at Coca-Cola Great Britain including group brand manager for east central Europe.

Her appointment comes as Reebok increases its focus on lifestyle marketing. It first launched its “Sounds and Rhythms of Sport” campaign, which features a variety of sport and music stars, to support its street-inspired Rbk brand in 2002. The success of the campaign had led to it being rolled out across all of its categories, and Pardy will be responsible for interpreting the message for the sports performance category.

The new strategy has been launched with a £12m television, press and outdoor campaign, starring US rapper 50 Cent. It has been created by New York agency mcgarrybowen and uses the strapline “I am what I am”.

Reebok global marketing chief Dennis Baldwi says the brand aims to connect with young people globally through music, sport and technology. He adds that the strapline aims to sum up that approach by celebrating individuality and self-expression.

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