As it looks toward a sale by Adidas, Reebok has released the first look at its "refreshed brand creative direction" under Vice President of Creative Direction Kerby Jean-Raymond.
Jean-Raymond joined Reebok in September last year and is creating a new vision for the brand together with Artistic Marketing Director Jide Osifeso. A video collection, dubbed "Reconnect," is the first step in changing Reebok's creative direction, according to an emailed press release.
Reconnect features a series of vignettes and one long-form video, exploring sports and community, directed by Jonas Lindstroem. The videos are available on YouTube and will be rolled out through Reebok's Instagram over the next few weeks as well.
Reebok, over the years, has struggled to form a firm brand identity, as Adidas pivoted the one-time sports generalist to focus more on the fitness community. With a sale on the horizon, it seems fitting that Reebok is exploring how to change its brand direction once again.
"The opportunity for someone like myself to contribute to a company with such a rich heritage is special," Osifeso said in a statement. "Having the ability to work with one of my brothers to challenge what a brand like Reebok can and should look like is not only an exciting endeavor, but also an important one to undertake."
Osifeso is building out an internal creative agency to tackle the shift in Reebok's branding. In addition to the videos released Tuesday, Jean-Raymond and Osifeso will lead a new global brand campaign set for release in 2022. The first product line influenced by Jean-Raymond will also come out in 2022, while the first collection "driven entirely by his creative direction" will come out in 2023.
Reebok has struggled under Adidas in the past. As a result of its troubles, the parent company devised a turnaround plan for Reebok in 2016, which helped to "significantly improve its profitability" and returned Reebok to positive profits in 2018. There was much speculation throughout 2020 that Adidas might sell off the brand, which was finally confirmed in December as Adidas considered its options.
With much of Reebok changed since the initial acquisition in 2006, the sale gives the brand a chance to revisit new markets and rediscover its brand identity. President Matt O'Toole told Retail Dive recently that Reebok wants to be a challenger brand telling a bolder story than its competitors and is also looking to broaden its focus to athletic lifestyles in general rather than fitness in specific.
"There's this opportunity over the next several years to spread our wings and participate in more sport categories, but the first agenda item on the sports side of the equation versus lifestyle is to really double down on the training category," O'Toole said.