Baron Davis and Master P are Looking to Buy Reebok for $2.4 Billion
Baron Davis and Master P have put in a bid of $2.4 Billion to take on Reebok
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Cover Art
Baron Davis and Master P (real name Percy Miller) buying a business together, on the surface, seems like the premise for a bad 90s sitcom. Although, if it really were a 90s sitcom there’d be some strange circumstance where they both had to move their families into the same home (like in Sister, Sister). or, they were both sold (unbeknownst to them) the controlling interest in a restaurant, and, now they have to figure out how to work together. But, if we look a little deeper it’s clear that these two are actually a decent match. And, perhaps capable of bringing Reebok back to its former 90s and 00s glory.
Reebok can trace it’s origins all the way back to 1895. Where Joseph William Foster started work on manufacturing some of the original spiked running shoes. Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell wore the shoes made by Joseph Foster who at the time were calling themselves J W Foster & Sons Ltd at the 1924 Paris Olympics. Both would win Gold medals in Paris (wearing reeboks). Later, their Olympic heroics would be immortalised on the silver screen (Chariots of Fire).
Reebok would be officially founded in 1958 by Joseph Foster’s grandson (also Joseph). Reebok would eventually absorb J W Foster & Sons Ltd in 1976. They would officially launch in the USA in 1979.
Reebok has always had a knack for cornering niche markets within the sports apparel industry. Staring in 1982 when Reebok launched the Reebok Freestyle aerobics shoe. It was the first athletic shoe designed specifically for women and, is almost single-handedly responsible for elevating Reeboks overall sales to $13 Billion in 1983. More recently Reebok has partnered with CrossFit (up until 2020) and the UFC (ending in 2021). These are two sports/activities that have a dedicated following and require some unique equipment to participate. Positioning themselves as they did with Aerobics in the 80s and 90s.
However, in the 90s and 00s, Reebok was one of the major players in sports apparel. At one point Reebok had an apparel partnership with each of the 4 major American sports. It also boasted deals with some of the most iconic athletes of the time. It held the NFL apparel licence from 2002 – 2012, The NBA (and WNBA) license from 2000 – 2006, It held the NHL rights under its subsidiary CCM between 2007 – 2017 and was the official footwear supplier for Major League Baseball at one point.
Reebok featured a roster of Shawn Kemp (NBA), Venus Williams (Tennis), Dee Brown (NBA), Shaquille, O’Neal (NBA), Allen Iverson (NBA), Jay-Z and 50 Cent (G-Unit) as endorsers of the brand. And in this writers opinion produced one of the most iconic lines of signature sneakers for Allen Iverson.
Adidas purchased Reebok for $3.8 Billion in 2005. Adidas attempted to use Reebok as a way to get a bigger foothold into the footwear market dominated by Nike. But since 2005 the brand has underperformed and Adidas has reportedly put it on the market.
So, how can two seemingly mismatched dudes in Baron Davis and Percy Miller reinvigorate Reebok? Pretty simply.
Master P before showing a keen business acumen and hit-making ability, spent time at the University of Houston on a basketball scholarship. He dropped out his freshman year and transferred Universities. Despite this, he had two stints in the NBA, one with the Hornets and one with The Raptors. However, neither of these stints extended past the preseason.
He started his first business in 1991 a record store called No Limit Records. This later became the foundation for his record label of the same name. Master P has released 100s of hit records and has used his music career to supplement his business career. His current holdings include film and TV production, apparel, music production, sports management, food, real estate, energy drinks and even a cable TV network. He’s also credited with developing many of the guerilla marketing techniques artists use today.
You’ll probably know Baron Davis as a 2x NBA All-Star point guard, and a key member of the iconic 2007 we believe Golden State Warriors. He played in the NBA for 13 seasons (1999 – 2012) and the G League for one season in 2016. He also featured in Ice Cub’s big 3 League in 2018. While playing hoops he had one eye on Hollywood. He spent many of his summers acting in movies and TV shows. He also has more than 20 producing and acting credits since retiring from basketball.
Yes, on the surface it doesn’t make much sense for a Rapper and a former NBA All-Star to buy a multinational apparel company. Davis and Master P have unique skill sets and contact lists that could make this work. Baron has the type of access to athletes and team executives that brands dream of having. While Master P has the kind of access in the music industry that few other posses. And, a broad list of connections throughout multiple industries that could help Reebok reach new consumers.