Reebok is committed to getting people to commit to fitness. The sporting goods brand has created a new campaign, The Sport of Fitness Has Arrived, that spotlights its partnership with CrossFit, a strength and conditioning program with a rabid cult following.
In an event in New York City Thursday morning, Reebok unveiled a new TV spot from the campaign that will also include print, digital and event-based marketing such as a YouTube takover and events in select cities around the world that encourage consumers to try CrossFit.
“There is a shift happening today in the fitness world that is born from the idea that fitness can be a sport — with all the elements that we love about traditional sports. CrossFit is leading this shift,” said Reebok president Uli Becker. “At Reebok, we believe that fitness can be as exciting and engaging as any sport. In 2012, we are helping deliver this message to the world in a compelling, powerful way.”
Becker said he started doing CrossFit last April and has not only trimmed down but has also seen marked improvement in his mobility which had been impacted by arthritic knees. “This is my new locker room,” he said, pointing to a CrossFit workout setup.
In addition, more than 400 Reebok employees a week complete CrossFit’s signature WOD (workout of the day) at Reebok’s facility in Canton, Mass. Globally, nearly 1,000 Reebok employees practice CrossFit. Becker said, “We introduced CrossFit here at Reebok a little more than a year ago, and it’s changed our company in a profound way. With this campaign, we want to let everyone around the world experience the transformation that we have — as individuals and as a company.”
As part of its partnership with CrossFit, which was inked last May, Reebok has become the title sponsor of the Reebok CrossFit Games, which crowns the fittest man and woman on earth, and a dual logo graces the CrossFit “boxes” in which participants perform their workouts.
A complete range of men’s and women’s apparel and footwear has also been created for the association, one that will sell at a premium level, according to Chris Froio, Reebok’s global head of fitness. “We will use this range as the pinnacle of the Reebok brand,” he said, “with a higher price point and a more upscale distribution strategy.” Currently, the merchandise is only being sold online but starting in the spring season it will be added at high-end specialty stores such as Nordstrom, REI, Sports Chalet and other retailers that “emphasize customer service,” he said. “This is not a self-service concept. [It needs the right salespeople] to articulate why the product is sold at that price point.”
Among the apparel offerings are short- and long-sleeve compression shirts, tights and shorts; boardshorts for men; half-zip pullovers and T-shirts and warm-up pants for men; T-shirts, capris, tank tops and jog bras for women, and a range of socks and other accessories, all of which sport CrossFit’s red logo with a white delta in the center. The Reebok CrossFit half-zip pullover will retail for $125, the warm-ups will be $110 and the boardshorts $75 to $85. Traditional Reebok outerwear retails for $70 to $90 and shorts are $45 to $50.
Froio said the design elements, fabrications and technical attributes that are being used in the CrossFit range will influence Reebok’s entire apparel offering starting next year. “We have yet to determine when it will bleed down,” he said, “but over the next two years, we want to establish this as the highest end product for the brand.”
Thursday’s CrossFit demonstration featured Rich Froning and Annie Thorisdottir, 2011’s fittest man and woman on earth, as well as actors Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Paula Patton, Ed Burns and New York Jet Dustin Keller.