INTERNATIONAL: Reebok signs up to NBA sponsorship deal

BOSTON, MA: Sports and leisurewear giant Reebok has signed a

ten-year strategic partnership with the National Basketball Association,

in a bid to boost its share of the male sports clothing market.



The agreement, which will begin with the forthcoming season, starting on

5 October, also includes the women's NBA and a new NBA minor league, the

National Basketball Development League (NBDL).



Reebok has signed a similar agreement with the National (American)

Football League, effective from the new season, which starts next

month.



A new direction in media relations tactics will back up the sponsorship

deals.



Reebok vice-president of global communication Denise Kaigler said the

company hoped that athlete endorsement and product placement in men's

fashion publications would help Reebok reach more younger men than it

had previously.



Meanwhile, the WNBA aspect of the partnership, Kaigler said, would help

the brand continue its successful 20-year history in the women's shoe

market.



NBA strategic and corporate communications manager Matt Bourne said the

three-year phase-in of Reebok-branded sportswear for Nike- and

Champion-branded teams gave him the challenge of explaining multiple

team sponsorships.



'We still have our relationship with Nike and it's a good one, so we'll

be addressing that for the media as to how they co-exist,' Bourne

said.



'Our goal is to spell out the terms of the deal and how Reebok will

progressively outfit more and more of our NBA teams.'



Bourne said PR energy would focus on promoting a forthcoming

Reebok-designed, NBA-branded shoe, the first such shoe to be made

available in more than a decade.



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