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The Renovation of Reebok: From Crossovers to CrossFit


If you guys missed the news, Rick Ross went full-on “Subway Jared” and lost a ton of weight. Instead of citing a sandwich diet, Ross attributed the transformation to performing CrossFit, which is a high-intensity training program. Ross even gave a shout-out to Reebok, which has a partnership with CrossFit.

Rick Ross, Weight Loss
Ross’ weight loss, attributed to CrossFit – Via Getty Images

Sneakerheads may not know a whole lot about this fitness-oriented side of Reebok, instead connecting the brand to names like Allen Iverson, Dee Brown, Shaquille O’Neal, and Shawn Kemp.

Recently, the basketball side of Reebok has banked on this ’90s nostalgia; from Iverson crossing over Jordan, to Dee Brown pumping his Omni Lite sneakers before a dunk. At one point in time, Reebok competed vigorously with Nike to sign basketball players. After declaring for the NBA draft in 1993, Shaq liked Reebok enough to don a Reebok logo jacket to a recruitment meeting at the Nike campus. Shaq eventually signed a five-year deal with Reebok after that meeting.

With that said, the company hasn’t found much success in performance basketball of late, last releasing the John Wall-endorsed Season 3 ZigEscape in 2012. Wall was moved from Reebok to parent company adidas just months after releasing the ZigEscape. This shift also coincided with the phasing out of traditional performance basketball models for Reebok, as reported by SoleCollector.

Reebok was purchased by adidas in 2005 to increase market share and to better compete with Nike in North America. A series of missteps haven’t helped that cause, including the loss of the NFL contract to Nike and the $25 million lawsuit settlement for false claims on Reebok’s EasyTone line.

Despite these slip-ups, Reebok has found success in CrossFit, which saw a 13% increase in revenue for the first quarter of 2013. Reebok partnered with CrossFit in 2010, which at the time was only a three-year old program/sport. CrossFit’s annual competition in the CrossFit Games saw participation increase over 780% from 2011-2014, with 204,000 worldwide participants this year alone.

Reebok sponsors all CrossFit events and their branding is featured in more than 10,000 affiliated gyms worldwide. This success led to a company-wide logo change:

Via AdAge

The new delta logo was actually Reebok’s CrossFit division emblem during the previous vector logo era. The new logo corresponds with the brand renovation; from drawing in consumers with pro athletes like Iverson and Wall, to appealing to everyday fitness junkies.

While Reebok continues to release the heritage basketball models we know and love (i.e. the ‘Shattered Backboard’ Shaq Attaq,) the company has a new identity moving forward, with the fit Rick Ross’ of the world leading the charge of enthusiastic consumers.


What do you think of Reebok as a brand today? Will the brand prosper alongside CrossFit’s popularity or do you feel they should have continued innovating elsewhere? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. Reebok kind of confuses me. They are all CrossFit and retros, then have the Answer 14 coming out. DMX foam? Come on! The shoe itself isn’t bad though.

  2. Reebok needs one new technology (That’s actually good ALA Boost cushion. NOT Zigtech, ATV, or DMX Foam) and better shoe designers. They need to offer something new yet familiar. They need to take a clue from Li Ning and offer shoes with premium materials but also premium performance. I could care less about their Crossfit ties or that Rick Ross likes them. In the past year or two I’ve purchased a ton of basketball shoes. Only one of those was a Reebok shoe. It was the Answer IV and I only bought it for nostalgia and because it was on a crazy sale. If you offer something good the customers will be there. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened.

    1. I agree on this. Zig sucked (hard to play with Zigtech). Sublite seems OK (and so light) but it had no support. They can do better. And yeah better designers. And please create something new to become future’s classic.

  3. Reebok has greatly changed their portion of the market to their cross fit organization. But I’m Canadian and in Canada the market for Reebok is still quite strong because of their marketing rights to the NHL which is the equivalent of football in the states in national sport popularity. With that being said I find that they are pulling the same sort of marketing ignorance that BlackBerry did and deny that the market is changing and have decided not to change their technologies or seek to find new technologies and innovation in the shoe market. Nike and adidas both have knit materials that they use on there shoes, as well as having great and innovative cushioning systems like boost and lunarlon. Reebok had great cushions too like DMX but one thing that killed them was their lack of creativity and best application for their zigtech. I was I Jr high when the John wall zig tech basketball shoes came out and my friends said they were hurting their feet from no impact protection, bad traction etc. If Reebok resurrected their dmx foam or hexalite again and put it into a more visually appealing and performance sound shoe they could start getting back into that market. I know Canadian shoe stores would have their shoe sections instantly filled with that product.

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