Reebok to Boost Ad Spending

Reebok’s new chief marketing officer says he plans to increase ad spending worldwide in an effort to make Reebok the “cool” athletic foot-wear and clothing choice for young people. Micky Pant, 47, was named to the position late last month.

Reporting to president David Perdue, Pant succeeds Angel Martinez, who resigned from the Canton, Mass.-based company in the summer. Pant has been with Ree-bok for seven years. Most recently he was svp, global marketing services, a post Reebok will not seek to fill.

Reebok annually spends more than $100 million on advertising worldwide. The budget will see a significant increase next year, though Pant declined to disclose details. “The key task for the next two years is to make Reebok more cool and respectable for young people,” he said.

The company will continue its global “Defy convention” campaign, unveiling image spots from New York’s Arnell Group on Jan. 22 during primetime programs. Commercials for the company’s men’s products, also from Arnell, will break during NBC’s telecast of the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 10. CBS’ Survivor series will remain a major ad platform for Reebok in 2002, much as it has been for the past two years, Pant said.

In November, Arnell was named to advertise Reebok’s “Classics” line and its men’s shoes as part of a consolidation from three ad agencies to two. Berlin Cameron & Partners, also New York—which introduced the “Defy convention” positioning a year ago—had worked on men’s shoes and remains the agency for Reebok’s women’s offerings. Bartle Bogle Hegarty, New York, which handled “Classics,” will probably soon be gone from the Reebok agency roster, Pant said.

Reebok, long No. 2 in athletic footwear/apparel, has made a gain of 3 percent in the past year. The increase boosted its overall market share to 15 percent, trailing Nike, which has 37 percent, according to industry estimates.