In our journey to become the world’s leader in fitness, we at Reebok embrace the mentality of a challenger brand.  We do not settle for the status quo and we will stop at nothing to differentiate ourselves from our competitors.  This means challenging conventional wisdom and thinking outside the box to deliver new solutions for our consumers… and ultimately creating new markets for our business.

“Our recent development of the Reebok Fight Shop concept is the perfect example of how we embrace this challenger brand mindset.” Matt Bilodeau, Senior Manager Reebok Combat Training Team

Here are some key learnings we gathered along the way:

Identifying an opportunity Reebok is continuously researching and monitoring how people incorporate fitness into their lives. In 2014, we came to realize that over 35 million people around the world are training like fighters, participating in combat sports like boxing, kickboxing, and Mixed Martial Arts for fitness; and of this 35 million, 90% are UFC fans. This is one of the fastest growing fitness trends, with 40% of those participants starting within the last year. We also quickly learned that no single brand was truly focused on this consumer segment.
Once realizing this great potential, a Combat Training team was quickly established with the goal of focusing on this growing space, developing state of the art products, and driving the business in full. The latter became my personal focus and included the commercialization and distribution of our products – which became both one of our biggest challenges and our biggest opportunities – more on that in a minute. Authenticating your position To help reach this wide consumer base and authenticate ourselves in the combat space, one of the team’s first steps was to form a landmark partnership with the UFC, one of the fastest growing sports organizations in the world and the dominant leader in Mixed Martial Arts. The UFC was searching for the right brand to develop the first ever “Fight Kit” for all fighters to wear in the Octagon – and we were the perfect fit. The Reebok / UFC partnership truly set the stage for change in the world of MMA and Combat Training, allowing us to broaden our consumer reach and build the best product for the world’s top fighters. Unleash the commercial potential – the birth of “Reebok Fight Shop” In the early stages, we asked the standard questions:  Where are these consumers shopping? How are they buying the products they need to train like fighters? Where do UFC fans shop? I’ll never forget when Todd Krinsky and Mike Lunardelli, two original members of the Reebok Combat Team, asked me to identify some good places for us to go check out combat sports apparel.  I started Googling, and learned that this wasn’t going to be as easy as we thought.  There very few ‘one- stop shops’ for consumers to purchase all the gear they needed to train like fighters. We saw that these 35 million people were forced to get their apparel from one retailer, their footwear from another, their equipment from another, and so on.  There was no singular place and no one brand focusing on these 35 million consumers.

“We quickly realized that not only did we have an opportunity here to create product for these consumers, but also to create a retail destination for fighters and fans alike.” Matt Bilodeau, Senior Manager Reebok Combat Training Team

Our objective suddenly became clear: develop an outside-the-box solution that serves both the consumer and the retailer. While it was challenging to start from scratch, we had a chance to be especially creative with the chance to deliver something completely new to the market.

Incorporate a ‘cool factor’ We needed to create a unique experience for this consumer that would stand out in a retail environment.  So we brought in Chris Kwiatkowski, a graphic designer from our Sports Licensed Division, as well as Reebok Retail Design leaders Peter Quagge and Chuck Gates, to turn the brand’s dream into a reality.

“We wanted our Fight Shops to echo the gritty and authentic feel of a real boxing or MMA gym, and they needed to have that same ‘cool factor.’” Matt Bilodeau, Senior Manager Reebok Combat Training Team

To define this look and feel, our team visited numerous  boxing and MMA gyms for inspiration, and we spoke with consumers around the world to uncover what they  liked about their gyms. Our Fight Shop concept is rooted in these findings. Selling your vision The next step was identifying the right retail partner.  We approached Sports Authority, a leading sporting goods retailer in the U.S. We told them the story of the 35 million people training like fighters who didn’t have a place to shop – they also saw the opportunity to target these consumers in a fresh way.  With that, it began to look like our dream would become a reality.

After months of planning, the US Trade Marketing Team did a fantastic job implementing our final concept in select Sports Authority locations in early July, as well as in select Reebok FitHub retail stores; these locations feature Combat Training apparel, UFC Fight Kits, and UFC fan gear.  We also worked with Reebok’s US eCommerce team to launch a very impactful digital Fight Shop on to reach our consumers more broadly.

The key takeaway Across all types of business, we tend to think of product as our one opportunity to innovate.  But this is one instance of innovation that centers around distribution; it’s yet another great avenue to create consumer-driven solutions.  Our Fight Shops now provide consumers with a single place for all their Combat Training needs—a novel idea that seized the opportunity to create value for the consumer and promote new loyalty to the Reebok brand.


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by Lildwell 14.08.2015
Forget that noise. Where are my retros???!!!
by dwarak 20.08.2015
Due to the brand value in current trend reebok accomplish everything in sports so there is no doubt to reach 35million or more

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by XXX 17.12.2015
I don't know why people have more craze on this product even am also the one of them in that million they maintain a brand value technique to acquired audience that's great
by acemary 25.12.2015
Reebok issued a call-to-action via social media sites asking ... “Brands have been yearning to reach out to new and existing customers with a ... can deliver short-format videos to more than 200 million U.S. mobile ..
by ajay 01.02.2016
Great post and informative was awesome to read, thanks for sharing this great content to my vision.

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by adammary 09.02.2016
Mitrione said on Twitter that Dana reached out to him to find out how much he's set to lose because of the Reebok deal, so the UFC knows, and I think they'll do something about it. Not sure what yet, but I don't think we've seen the last change to this whole program before it goes into effect in July.

Honestly this should have been done before they ever struck a deal. Talk to a bunch of fighters and get the figures of howe much they all make so you have an idea from highest to lowest. Then figure out how much the sponsorship deal is worth. Also Coker should be careful about his comments, talking to fighters under contract about business isn't legal.