By Barry Janoff
January 17, 2013: Reebok, which has been promoting itself as the global fitness brand, has signed a multi-year deal to become the title sponsor of Spartan Race, which oversees obstacle racing events around the world.
Financial terms of the pact were not disclosed.
The alliance begins on Jan. 26 with the first event of what is now know as the Reebok Spartan Race Series, being held at Vail Lake Resort in Temecula, Calif.
Under terms of the deal, Reebok, which is a division of adidas, becomes the official apparel, footwear and accessories supplier for the Reebok Spartan Race series, and also will develop a signature line of products, which are being planned for the fall.
Reebok said it would support the alliance with a multi-media global campaign featuring Spartan Race events and participants. The effort will include TV, print, Internet and social media destinations such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Videos will also appear on SpartanRace.tv.
Reebok has been promoting fitness as a sport via the Reebok CrossFit Games, lines including ZigLite and RealFlex and its recent marketing campaign starring Peyton Manning and Eli Manning. Reebok's lead agency is McGarryBowen, but the company is switching to DDB, NY, beginning in 2014.
The Reebok-Spartan Race alliance was unveiled during an event in New York's Time Square that was attended by actress/model Brooklyn Decker; former New York Giants All-Pro Tiki Barber, Spartan Race Champion Hobie Call and Spencer Hendel, winner of the Obstacle Course event at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games.
Spartan Race was founded in 2010. The Series expects to attract 500,000 athletes in 2013, up from 350,000 in 2012, according to organizers. Spartan is a timed event series featuring races at four escalating distances in locations worldwide. The series culminates in a world championship finale with a prize fund of over $500,000.
“At Reebok, we recognize that the fitness landscape is changing. More and more, people are beginning to see fitness as part of their lifestyle rather than simply an activity,” Matt O’Toole, CMO for Reebok, said in a statement. “Spartan Race is at the forefront of this movement. It enables people to come together to experience fitness with a community of like-minded people — to take part in something that is challenging and daunting, but at the same time, inspiring and fun. This is what makes it so rewarding, and is a large part of what is fueling the incredible growth of the sport.”
"Spartan Race is at the forefront of this movement. It enables people to come together to experience fitness with a community of like-minded people."
According to Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena, “Reebok shares our vision — they think, act, and live exactly like we do down to the last detail. Both organizations believe that through fitness, ordinary people can realize their full potential and reap benefits throughout their lives"
De Sena said that Reebok would "help us expand globally, pursue our goals of making obstacle racing an Olympic sport, share the healthy living we promote, and rip people off their couches and do what human beings were made to do: run, jump, sweat and climb."