Founded in 1895 as J.W. Foster and Sons in England; later renamed Reebok (operating as a subsidiary of adidas since 2005), now with its current global headquarters located in Massachusetts, U.S.A.
The company began distributing shoes across the United Kingdom and were worn by British athletes in the 1924 Summer Olympics. In 1958, two of the founder's grandsons, Joe and Jeff Foster, renamed the company "Reebok," having found the name in a South African dictionary won in a running race by Joe Foster as a boy. The name is the Afrikaans term for Grey Rhebok, a type of African antelope; the choice of name presumably equating their enjoyment of sports and the image they wanted to reflect in their company, together with the exuberance of the animal.
Reebok is an athletic footwear and clothing company, producing and distributing fitness and sports merchandise including shoes, workout clothing & accessories, and training equipment. Reebok has also collaborated with and become the official sponsor for fitness companies and their events, such as the UFC, CrossFit and Spartan Race (among others), producing a range of fitness equipment and workout regimes.
Following the aerobics trend from the 1980s to early 1990s, Reebok released workout programs called Reebok Step. The company began expanding from tennis and aerobics shoes to running and basketball throughout the mid to late 1980s. Thereafter, Reebok began introducing sports clothing and accessories, along with a new line of children's athletic shoes (called 'Weeboks').
Reebok is also renowned for signing high-profile athletes and celebrities. It signed tennis pro Venus Williams after winning titles at Wimbledon and the 2000 Summer Olympics. In the same year, Reebok signed a 10-year licensing agreement with the NFL (Nationl Football League) for the exclusive rights to manufacture and sell its licensed merchandise, including uniforms and footwear for all 32 teams.
In 2005, adidas acquired Reebok as a subsidiary, uniting two of the largest sport outfitting companies, but maintaining operations under their separate brand names. Following the acquisition, adidas replaced Reebok as the official uniform and apparel supplier for the NBA (National Basketball League) in 2006.
Since then, Reebok has seemingly gone from strength to strength, announcing its partnership with CrossFit in 2010; a fitness company and competitive fitness sport, including sponsoring the CrossFit Games, opening CrossFit Studios, and introducing a line of co-branded footwear and clothing for the following year. In 2011, Reebok unveiled the CrossFit Delta Symbol as part of the brand's fitness apparel line. The symbol has since become the standard icon for all of Reebok's fitness collections, making it the company's second logo change in more than 120 years.
The delta symbol represents the three pillars of positive self-change, including the mental, physical and social aspects of every individual. This pairs well with Reebok’s energy and drive as a company that strives to become more dynamic by increasing its presence in the fitness industry by also catering to the yoga, dance, aerobics and CrossFit Sports World.