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Reebok: a sports brand acquired by Adidas in 2005

Reebok is a sporting goods company that is currently a subsidiary of the Adidas Group (AG). The Adidas Group (AG) includes a range of sporting goods companies, such as: Adidas, Taylormade and Rockport. Reebok was founded by Joseph William Foster in 1895, and the company was founded in Bolton, Lancashire, England. The original name of the company was J.W. Foster and Sons; it was renamed to Reebok by Joseph Foster's grandsons in 1958.

The modern Reebok sign, located at the headquarters of Reebok in the United States in Canton.

J.W. Foster and Sons was founded in 1895 to make spiked running shoes; an innovative idea at the time. Reebok was a medium sized family run business that had moderate domestic success. It was only in the 1980's that Reebok became one of the largest sporting goods brands. In 1979, Paul Fireman, an American entrepreneur, bought the North American license to distribute Reebok products.

Paul Fireman was an immediate success: originally marketing Reebok footwear as 'keep fit' aerobic exercise shoes in the early 1980's. Sales boomed, and Reebok began to challenge the dominance of Adidas and Nike. Due to increased sales, Reebok began to innovate, and one of the most iconic shoes released by Reebok was the 'Reebok Pump' (1989). The Reebok Pump was a basketball sneaker and was endorsed by leading NBA basketball players; such as: Shaquille O'Neal and Dominique Wilkins.

Throughout the 1990's and 2000's, Reebok increased sales, endorsing sports stars like Venus Williams, and endorsing NBA and NHL teams. By 2005, Reebok was one of the largest sporting goods companies, and globally recognisable as a brand. Reebok had moved it's global headquarters to Canton, Massachusetts, and Paul Fireman was it's president till 2004.

However, in August 2005, in one of the largest ever sporting goods takeovers: Adidas purchased Reebok. Paul Fireman was the CEO of Reebok throughout the 1990's - until the takeover by Adidas - and had always managed to combat shareholder revolts over his stewardship; overturning sales slumps. However, the 'tide had turned' and Adidas' offer proved too lucrative for Reebok's shareholders to refuse.

Adidas purchased Reebok for $3.8 billion, and Paul Fireman earnt $710 million from the sale of the company. Reebok are now a subsidiary of the Adidas Group (AG), but still retain their headquarters in the USA and are operated as an independent company. Reebok continued to manufacture sportswear for the: National Football League (NFL), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Canadian Football League (CFL), National Hockey League (NHL) and National Basketball Association (NBA).

Reebok logo that used the union jack flag in it's design. Pre 1986 Reebok logo used from 1986-2014 1986 - 2014 Reebok logo used since 2015 2015 -