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7/19/2005

 
Whoa Nelly! Reebok Announces Partnership with Multi-Platinum Hip-Hop Sensation

Grammy Award Winning Rap Artist Nelly Becomes Latest Icon to Join Brand to Create New Excitement in The World of Sports and Music

CANTON, Mass., July 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Three-time Grammy Award winner, Nelly and Reebok today announce a long-term partnership that includes a signature collection of athletic footwear, apparel and accessories. The initial launch of the collection will be in holiday 2005 in select boutiques and athletic specialty retailers with an expanded distribution in 2006. The collection will feature clean, aggressive, sport-inspired designs with unique colors and materials that reflect Nelly's personal style and flavor.

"I've always been into sneakers and throughout my career I've always wanted to have a signature pair of sneakers that truly reflect my personal style," said Nelly. "It made the most sense for me to partner with Reebok because they fully understand and respect the culture of sports, music and entertainment."

Nelly will also be featured in Reebok's "I Am What I Am" global advertising campaign. Created by New York advertising agency mcgarrybowen, the "I Am What I Am" campaign celebrates contemporary heroes of today's global youth including music icons, athletes and entertainers. Nelly is the newest star to join the Reebok "I Am What I Am" family which includes Allen Iverson, Jay-Z, Yao Ming, Curt Schilling, 50 Cent, Nicole Vaidisova, Donovan McNabb, Christina Ricci, Stevie Williams, and many more. The multi-faceted campaign links the entire brand's marketing and advertising efforts under the "I Am What I Am" umbrella, and is supported by the company's largest advertising spend in nearly a decade.

"Reebok's partnership with Nelly elevates the fusion of sports and music to a whole new level," says Dennis Baldwin, Reebok's chief marketing officer. "Not only is Nelly an incredible artist, but his passion for music is equally matched by his love of sports. Nelly has a unique style that transcends music and cultural genres with a broad consumer appeal that speaks to who Reebok truly is as a brand."

The partnership was secured with the assistance of Steve Stoute, founder of Translation entertainment marketing firm. Stoute, who serves as a consultant for Reebok, plays a key role in the brand's affiliation in the entertainment industry. "Nelly is a great addition to the Rbk family," said Stoute. "He is grounded in authenticity which makes him a perfect fit for the brand."

Born Cornell Haynes Jr., the St. Louis, Missouri native has long been recognized for his unique style and influence as an entertainer. Nelly has had success across the board from recording hit songs with musicians such as Pharrell Williams, P. Diddy, Tim McGraw and Justin Timberlake. With more than 30 million albums sold throughout his career, Nelly is universally acknowledged as one of the top selling rap artists of all-time.

Not simply satisfied with making music, Nelly, outfitted in Reebok apparel, scored plenty of touchdowns as a star in the film "The Longest Yard". Additionally, the one-time baseball prospect that was scouted by the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball, became only the second music artist to become part owner of an NBA franchise as he joined the expansion Charlotte Bobcats. In addition to participating in baseball and basketball, Nelly has performed at two Super Bowls during his music career (Super Bowls XXXV and XXXVIII).

Reebok International Ltd. (NYSE:RBK) , headquartered in Canton, MA, is a leading worldwide designer, marketer and distributor of sports, fitness and casual footwear, apparel and equipment under the Reebok, Rockport, CCM, Jofa, Koho and Greg Norman brands. Sales for 2004 totaled approximately $3.8 billion. Reebok can be accessed on the World Wide Web at http://www.reebok.com/.

Contact:
Reebok Public Relations
Diane Pelkey (781) 401-7790
KeJuan Wilkins (781) 401-4715

Source: Reebok International Ltd.

CONTACT: Diane Pelkey, +1-781-401-7790, or KeJuan Wilkins,
+1-781-401-4715, both of Reebok Public Relations

Web site: http://www.reebok.com/




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