Reebok Reeborn? Sneak Peek of Sneaker Town 2013

Whatever you thought Reebok was, I guarantee you you’re wrong – I know I was. Here’s my behind the scenes report from my visit to Reebok headquarters, after I personally got an inside look in the company, and previewed the technology and trends coming out in 2013 – and coming into your homes! 

As I sit, 34,000 feet in the air, on my flight home from Reebok headquarters in Boston I don’t even know how to begin explaining what I just experienced – and what you, the customer will start experiencing now and in the coming months. One thing I can say is, you need to start saving money now – because no matter what your fitness routine is, you WILL want (NEED!) Reebok in your closet – and I’ll tell you why.

The Resurrection 

First, I need to confess this: I’ve never been a Reebok fan. Just a few months ago, my first thought of Reebok tennis shoes would cause Jazzercise flashbacks of white leather tennies, thick scrunchy socks and rolled up jeans. Even though that is a thing of the past, their middle of the road boring clothes and bulky blah shoes never captured my attention over the last few years. Although they maintained quality products, they always seems a little out of date and missing the competitive edge needed to grab my attention – and my credit card.

I’m warning you now, THAT old Reebok is dead and gone, so guard your credit card, because you will want to max it out when you start exploring what is going on at Reebok headquarters, and across the globe, one lucky hand-picked store at a time. A new Reebok has risen, and as you can imagine by looking at some of my own kicks (pictured left), you need to hold on to your panties because the new Reebok walks through walls and has miraculous super powers that will attract followers by the droves and change lives – and that’s what fitness is all about. It’s all about changing lives.

Love at First Sweat 

Personally, I prefer brands who practice what they preach. One, because the product and service is always better when a company actually uses their brand regularly, and two, because I have a thing for supporting good people. What can I say? I’m a sucker for wanting the good guys to win – and Reebok is the ultimate good guy company.

From the way they treated us the second we touched down, to the way they treated each other within the company, it is obvious this company values people. Each member of the team proudly introduced their coworkers with such pride and respect for one another. No pride, no egos, no corporate snobs – just a bunch of people working together for a common goal – and that goal is developing footwear and apparel that will help people get fit, and make sure they have fun doing it.

The Reebok MOVEment

How do you get a brand to impact customers and help them get fit? You start with the employees, like 74yr old AnnMarie here flexing it up with me after working out along side my hubby, Steve, at Reebok CrossFit One.

Honestly, it’s one thing for an engineer or designer to develop a great kick-butt shoe and a ridiculously cool looking shirt that won’t sour in your gym bag after getting soaked from a sweaty workout. It’s totally another thing to have an engineer or designer who not only develops that shoe, or piece of clothing, but they wear it, test it, train in it, and live in it day after to day. They literally take their work home with them. THAT’s what’s happening at Reebok – and, ultimately, we the consumer benefit.

Test Track

In addition to the staff living fitness out and testing out their own product, they wanted to hear what we the consumer wanted, as we put their products to the test in the real world on a daily basis.

We got to run in their shoes (pictured right, with their running coach in red) and workout in their apparel, and truly put them to the test. As a part of a focus group, they not only asked for our ideas and input, but they encouraged complaints. Honestly? Who does that anymore?

Of course, it will only make them better, but most companies filled with experienced experts in their field typically don’t want to hear what a bunch of gym rats think. Reebok not only wanted to know what we thought, they wanted to hear it all – the good, bad and ugly. They eagerly listened and respected our opinion, taking notes and truly listening to every word. Although I can’t share with you what was discussed, believe me, we will see the input implemented, and I will remember the day we had the discussion that impacted your buying experience. A truly amazing experience and an honor.

Briefcases and Gym Bag

Reebok headquarters wasn’t just a huge office complex filled with men in suits. It was a fitness complex, complete with a state of the art gym, outdoor track, and a CrossFit gym (called Reebok CrossFit One) led by some of the most elite trainers and athletes in the country – and the world.

Because of the company’s dedication to fitness, Reebok employees are fit and active. Out of 1,000 employees, over 600 employees are members of there CrossFit gym and do intense training on a regular basis. Although I imagine there must be employees that haven’t arrived at their fitness goals yet, I didn’t see one overweight or out of shape employee the entire visit. Unlike many companies in the fitness business who have employees who are clueless about fitness, and are just all about business, Reebok is jam-packed with employees who appear to be just as passionate about fitness as they are their paycheck. Watching employees hit the locker room for a quick workout on their lunch break was totally refreshing. Totally inspiring.

Although I’m sure it will take time for the new Reebok to truly impact the world like they plan, it is a brand you need to keep your eye on if you want to get, or stay, Fit.

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

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About Bonnie Pfiester

Fitness Columnist and Lifestyle Coach, Resident Trainer for Designer Whey, Fitness Advisor for FitStudio, powered by Sears, FitFluential Ambassador and Owner of Max Fitness Club, home of BCx Boot Camp in Vero Beach, Florida.

Posted on November 18, 2012, in Brands, Fitness Products & Trends, PFIT PFINDS and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Sounds like you had an awesome time! I’ve never owned a pair of Reebok sneakers but I would be curious to try them!

  2. I love the comparison between the old Reebok and the new. Since being in my radar screen this Fall, I’m loving what they have to offer. Thank you so much for sharing your experience at their facility!

  3. Loved seeing all the tweets and pictures from your trip to Reebok! So exciting and I really love how the company has evolved. Until last year, I too associated Reebok with Jazzercize, The Step and scrunchy socks (omg that image brings flashbacks!). But the more I’ve heard about what they are doing and how they are doing it and have had a chance to try out some of their products, I’ve gotten so much more excited. Can’t wait to see what they have in store for 2013!

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