By Barry Janoff
November 26, 2014: Sportswear and athletic shoe company Reebok is continuing its drive into the fitness-workout category with the acquisition of LUTA, a U.K.-based boxing and mixed-martial arts brand.
Concurrently, Reebok International has formed a "long-term alliance" with Fight for Peace, a non-profit organization that combines boxing and martial arts with education and personal development.
Both LUTA and Fight for Peace were founded by Luke Dowdney, a former amateur boxer and British Universities champion turned businessman.
Financial terms of the LUTA deal were not disclosed.
The news comes as reports in The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere indicate that a group of investors is seeking to purchase Reebok for about $2 billion from adidas AG, which acquired Reebok in 2005 in a deal valued at the time at $3.8 billion.
Reebok is the official outfitter for the NHL and for a long time was known for its basketball alliances, with spokesman that included John Wall, Dominique Wilkins, Yao Ming, Allen Iverson and Shaquille O'Neal (with new retro-style Shaq hoops shoes still available),
Over the past few years, though, Reebok has been seeking to "own" the workout category and build its self-professed "sport of fitness." Spokespersons include model Miranda Kerr, who promotes fitness shoes and apparel in multi-media marketing campaigns.
Earlier this year, the brand unveiled a Reebok Delta logo, which, according to then global CMO and now Reebok president Matt O'Toole, "Signals a clear purpose for our brand and it will be a badge for those who pursue a fuller life through fitness." It appears on footwear and apparel across all fitness disciplines supported by Reebok, including training, running, outdoor, yoga, dance and aerobics. It also will replace the former logo in all marketing efforts.
(Editors Note: On Dec. 2 signed a "groundbreaking" six-year to become the official outfitter for the UFC. See full story here.)
In 2013, Reebok took title sponsorship of Spartan Race, which oversees extreme obstacle course races around the world.
That same year, Reebok formed a global alliance with Les Mills International, which oversees 13 group fitness and team training programs held across 80 countries in more than 15,000 licensed clubs worldwide.
In addition, Reebok has been promoting the "sport of fitness" via its own CrossFit Games, which began in 2007 and moved under Reebok's umbrella in 2011 as a quest to find the "Fittest (People) on Earth." The brand also supports ReebokOne, an online destination that connects people in the workout-fitness community — which here includes such categories as running, training, yoga, dance, walking and CrossFit — with videos, news and other activations.
“We are honored to be able to establish this partnership with Fight for Peace and include LUTA within our sporting portfolio.," O'Toole said in a statement. "The work Luke and the team have done over the years to help young people who are growing up with tremendous challenges, surrounded by drugs and violence, is remarkable and is something we are looking forward to supporting and expanding so that together we can help even more young people at risk.”
According to Dowdney, “Our new partnership with Reebok and its acquisition of LUTA is incredibly exciting for Fight for Peace and its future. Both organizations share a strong belief in the power of fitness and training and the impact it can have on young people’s lives, particularly those at risk of being involved in crime and violence. Working with Reebok allows us to continue to build awareness for Fight for Peace, as well as secure a long-term funding structure for us to develop our international growth and development.”
Dowdney said that Fight for Peace works with more than 100,000 young people in communities affected by crime and violence. He founded LUTA "as a means to attract and work with young people from Complexo da Maré, a complex of 17 favelas in Rio de Janeiro, where the project began in 2000 followed by a London Academy in 2007, as well as satellite projects across the world."
Reebok Sees Perfect Fit(ness) With Spartan Race
Reebok, Les Mills Alliance Pumps Up 'Workout Revolution'
Back to Home Page