By  on August 9, 2005

NEW YORK — As the $3.8 billion, all-cash acquisition of Reebok International by Adidas-Salomon waits for shareholder approval, the companies' top executives held a road show Monday to tout the deal.

During a meeting with reporters at the W Hotel here, Herbert Hainer, chairman and chief executive officer of Adidas-Salomon, and Paul Fireman, chairman and ceo of Reebok, reiterated what was previously said in regard to synergies between the companies. But they also offered a glimpse of how the acquisition repositions the brands for growth.

The future, Hainer and Fireman said, will focus on marketing and licensing to push the brands deeper into the market.

Sourcing also will play a more significant role. "Speed to market is critical," Hainer said, adding that, in the branded apparel segment, for example, Adidas-Salomon likely will help Reebok with its global sourcing needs. But it's a two-way street. Fireman said when it comes to bringing goods to market, "nobody is faster than Reebok."

How fast? Well, if there's a college team that wins a key game on a Saturday afternoon, Reebok would be able to get Adidas' licensed goods into the retailer "by 6 a.m. the next day," Fireman said.

"It will allow us to service the market immediately," Hainer said.

With marketing and advertising, Fireman and Hainer said, the industry can expect to see more exposure for Adidas and Reebok via brand placement in video games. Fireman said because of the repetitious quality, placement in video games offers "30 to 40 times the brand exposure" television does. Regarding advertising dollars, Hainer said the acquisition of Reebok will allow the companies to get more bang for their buck.

Hainer added that a "two-brand strategy is more effective," given the demands of consumers in the activewear market.

Fireman said he's committed to working with Hainer and his executive team during the transition, which Fireman and Hainer said would take some time to complete. "And we will hopefully find ways to grow," Fireman said.

Does that mean additional acquisitions for Adidas-Salomon? "We're still working on this one," Hainer said, laughing, but he quickly added that it's his job to look for opportunities. "With acquisitions, you need to have discipline."

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