August 12, 2021

How Retail Dive Editor Got Inside Look at Reebok's History in Wake of Adidas Sale

As news of Adidas selling Reebok to Authentic Brands Group breaks today, we revisit Retail Dive Senior Editor Cara Salpini's in-depth look at the brand, published last month: Reebok was meant to be a ‘Nike killer.’ How the brand lost its No. 1 spot.

Written and reported in anticipation of the sale, Salpini shared a note to readers about her experience while reporting the story when it was first published. See a copy of it below for a behind-the-scenes look at how the story came to be.

In April, when I messaged Reebok's founder, Joe Foster, on LinkedIn — I wasn't expecting much. At most, I imagined he would respond to me saying he wasn't interested in chatting. Instead, I found an eager conversationalist who was more than happy to talk about the company he founded in 1958.

From there, my story only grew. Soon I had also talked to Paul Fireman, Reebok's long-time CEO and owner, and Paul Litchfield, perhaps best known for his role in developing The Pump basketball shoe.

I'll confess that I knew very little about Reebok before doing this story, other than that it was one of the key brands under Adidas. I didn't remember much about the company, and I wasn't alive in the '80s when it had its heyday. I was shocked when I heard Reebok had once been bigger than Nike, given how dominant Nike has become over the years. The rest of the history was just as fascinating to me, especially as Reebok is on the verge of being sold by Adidas.

My profile on Reebok takes a long (really long) look at the brand's history, through some of the people that were there.  We hope you find the company's extensive history as fascinating as we did.

- Cara Salpini

>> Read (or listen) to the full story here


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