22 Jan 2005
NHL Stars including Modano, Pronger and Joseph make the switch to new line of ultra-high performance skates, sticks and protective equipment
Canton, MA (January 22, 2005) - Reebok International (NYSE: RBK) launches Rbk Hockey, a new line of ultra-high performance hockey products developed and tested by The Hockey Company, a Reebok subsidiary, in close collaboration with some of the world's best hockey players. Rbk Hockey skates, sticks and protective equipment offer unmatched customizability and feature new, proprietary technologies and materials never before used in hockey equipment.
Several NHL stars have already made the switch to Rbk Hockey including Chris Pronger of the St. Louis Blues, Mike Modano of the Dallas Stars, Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, Tony Amonte of the Philadelphia Flyers, 2004 World Junior Tournament MVP Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins, Daniel and Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks and Russian standout Evgeni Malkin, the #2 overall pick in the 2004 NHL draft.
"Reebok has always been a brand that puts performance and quality first," said Pronger. "It was clear the first time I laced up my Rbk skates that this commitment to quality and attention to detail extends into hockey. All of the Rbk products are tremendous and I have no doubt my game will benefit from joining the Reebok team."
Reebok will also be well represented in nets with Detroit Red Wings goalie Curtis Joseph, Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers, 2003 Conn Smythe winner Jean-Sébastien Giguère of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Mathieu Garon of the Los Angeles Kings, Marc-André Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins, David Aebischer of the Colorado Avalanche and 2004 Calder Trophy winner Andrew Raycroft of the Boston Bruins.
"Rbk Hockey products integrate cutting edge technology and were developed with input from NHL players to create the lightest equipment, with the best fit and performance available," said Matt O'Toole, president and CEO of The Hockey Company, a Reebok subsidiary. "The products target the expressive, new school hockey player who pushes the limits of speed, agility and creativity on the ice and demands nothing but the best in performance, fit and comfort."
To support the product launch, Reebok has created a multi-faceted Rbk Hockey marketing campaign scheduled to launch in March. The campaign, entitled "The Switch is On," features Rbk Hockey's new endorsees and will include print, electronic, out-of-home and television advertising.
The campaign, developed by Toronto-based advertising agency The Hive Strategic Marketing, highlights the fact that with Rbk Hockey, Reebok has gone back to the drawing board to "Rethink", "Redefine," and "Redesign" the look, feel and performance limits of hockey products, while still remaining true to the game and its long history and tradition.
"Reebok continues to be at the forefront of developing performance technologies that will define our industry and help the world's best athletes push the limits of athletic achievement," said Reebok Senior Vice President John Frascotti. "By bringing this same approach to Rbk Hockey, Reebok has made the world's fastest game, even faster."
Leading the new Rbk Hockey product line is the 8K FitLiteTM helmet. The 8K features Reebok's MICRODIAL technology, a unique circumference adjustment dial that makes it the first-ever fully-customizable 360° hockey helmet. Reebok's innovative composite SUBSHELLTM technology makes the 8K the lightest helmet ever developed, 12-26% lighter than any other helmet on the market.
Rbk Hockey also introduces a skate that will set the standard in fit and lightweight performance. With a focus on agility and comfort, the 8K FitLiteTM skate provides unmatched foot and ankle protection with its PRO ARMOURTM technology. The 8K skates helped propel Patrice Bergeron to Tournament MVP at the recent World Junior Hockey Championships (WJHC).
Bergeron also used Reebok's new 7K full-composite stick as Team Canada took home Gold at the WJHC. Perfectly balanced, the 7K stick features a seamless construction that offers a more consistent and durable shaft. The 7K stick features Super Lite aerospace-grade graphite for a lighter stick and a quicker release.
Goalies across the world will also have a chance to live the Rbk Hockey experience to its fullest. The Rbk Premier Series of goalie equipment was developed by goalie guru Michel Lefebvre. Known for his work with pro goalies such as Patrick Roy and Roberto Luongo, Lefebvre designed an ultra-light line of goalie equipment that will give today's netminders the edge they need when facing 100 MPH shots.
The full Rbk Hockey product line will be available at retail on March 1st.
Rbk Hockey is Reebok's first significant involvement in hockey, and has been in development since the company's acquisition of Montreal-based The Hockey Company in June 2004. The Hockey Company's primary brands, CCM, Koho and Jofa, are among the most respected in the sport. With the acquisition, Reebok is now the world's leading producer of hockey equipment and apparel.
In 1991, Reebok collaborated with CCM to incorporate Reebok's groundbreaking The Pump technology into CCM "Pump Tacks" skates. Like the original Reebok Pump athletic footwear, the skates were very successful.
Reebok and The Hockey Company have a long-term licensing agreement with the National Hockey League, under which the Company serves as the exclusive supplier of authentic "on-ice" game jerseys to all 30 NHL teams. It also has the exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture and market authentic, replica and practice jerseys using the names and logos of the NHL and its teams. Reebok also has agreements with the American Hockey League, ECHL and Canadian Hockey League.