Eve to Rap Up Reebok Classic

Reebok has teamed up with hip-hop starlet and actress Eve to plug its Classic label.

NEW YORK — Reebok’s forthcoming advertising campaign is all about Eve.

This story first appeared in the March 20, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The sneaker giant has teamed up with the hip-hop starlet and actress to plug its Classic label.

Eve performs along with the rapper Fabolous in a 30-second spot that debuts March 26 on BET, Comedy Central, ESPN Networks and MTV among other channels. The duo came up with an original song for the commercial, which was developed by The Arnel Group.

Eve will also strut her stuff in two print ads for Reebok, which breaks in May issues of Jane, In Style, Honey, Teen People and Vibe. Referring to her nickname “The Blonde Bombshell,” one ad has a shot of the fair-haired musician with the tag line, “Bombshell Classic.” Another shows the Philadelphia native wearing a NBA 76ers jersey dress and Classic Oryx footwear. This spring the $65 footwear will be sold exclusively at Foot Locker.

Eve is the third female musician to appear in a Classic ad. Queen Latifah kicked off the campaign three years ago and Shakira is the only other songstress to appear in the ads, which have featured Iggy Pop, Samuel Jackson and others. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This is not her first foray with a footwear company, since she designed a shoe for Candie’s earlier this year.

Brian Povinelli, director of global advertising for Reebok, said, “Eve has broad appeal. She is one of the first artists in the campaign who has male and female appeal — urban and suburban.”

Unlike Shakira, Eve does not have an endorsement deal. Eve’s contract runs through May of 2004, but it has not yet been determined if she will appear in other Reebok ads, Povinelli said. The Canton, Mass.-based athletic label liked the fact that Eve was ringside at last month’s New York collections.

“We were looking for someone who would appeal to more urban consumers. Eve is clearly a leader in the music industry and she has extremely high fashion credentials. She is as much a fashion icon as a music icon,” he said.

Reebok has also stocked up the rapper, who appeared in a bikini in the most recent edition of Fashion of The Times, with its activewear even though she has no contractual obligations to wear it. With plans to launch her own clothing line called Fetish this fall, she is not getting involved with Reebok’s design team, Povinelli said.

“I can’t say we won’t be discussing that down the road, but it’s not part of the current agreement,” he said.

In other news, Reebok plans to spend between $65 million and $75 million on capital projects this year, compared with $27.6 million in 2002, according to a SEC filing. The investment will be used to support its European efforts, to roll out its information management software, to bolster its sports licensing production and to add 10 factory stores outside the U.S. Reebok currently has 53 factory stores in Europe, Canada, Mexico and Japan.