08 Mar 2005
17-Year-Old to use New Rbk Hockey Line of Skates, Equipment and Apparel
CANTON, Mass. Reebok International has signed a multi-year agreement with Sidney Crosby, the consensus top pick in the next National Hockey League draft, and widely anticipated to be the best player to enter the professional ranks in twenty years. Already immensely popular in his native Canada, Crosby's profile is expected to grow in the United States and around the world when his pro career begins. He will be a major part of Reebok's marketing strategy, both on and off the ice.Crosby was a force in Team Canada's Gold Medal win at the 2005 IIHF World Junior Championships earlier this year. The 17-year-old from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia is currently the leading scorer in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) as a member of the Rimouski Oceanic.
"In 2005, hockey fans around the world will be introduced to two of the most exciting newcomers to hit the sport in many years - Sidney Crosby and Rbk Hockey," said Matt O'Toole, president and CEO of The Hockey Company, a Reebok subsidiary. "Rbk Hockey products represent a new generation of equipment for a new generation of player, and no player fits that profile better than Sidney Crosby."
The 17-year-old hockey phenom joins a growing list of NHL stars who have made the switch to Rbk Hockey, including Team Canada linemate and World Junior Tournament MVP Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and NHL All-Stars Mike Modano of the Dallas Stars, Pavel Datsyuk and Curtis Joseph of the Detroit Red Wings, Chris Pronger of the St. Louis Blues, Tony Amonte of the Philadelphia Flyers, Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers, and Russian standout Evgeni Malkin, the #2 overall pick in the 2004 NHL draft.
"I am really excited to join Reebok's impressive roster of great athletes," said Crosby. "Reebok is a brand I have always admired and respected, and I feel very fortunate to be among the first players to wear Rbk Hockey products." He added, "The skates and equipment look incredible and I can't wait to get started working with Reebok on my own equipment."
"The Next One" Since he first began skating at age 3, and when he played his first hockey game at age 5, it was apparent Crosby had talent beyond his years. At age 7, he was already being interviewed about his hockey talents and drawing attention across Canada. By 14, he was being featured on national Canadian television and his celebrity was growing with each goal. The Hockey News compared the young player to Wayne Gretzky, calling him "The Next One."
Crosby joined the QMJHL in 2003 as the first overall pick of Rimouski. During his first season, he was described as the most polished 16-year-old in the history of the league, which has featured many of greatest players to ever lace up a pair of skates, such as Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Marcel Dionne and Guy Lafleur.
Among the products Crosby will be wearing are the Rbk 8K FitLite helmet, the lightest and first fully customizable helmet ever developed, and the Rbk 8K skate featuring Reebok's FitLite technology for superior fit and comfort in a lightweight pro performance skate. In addition, Crosby will be using Reebok footwear, apparel and training equipment for his off-ice training.
Crosby joins tennis star Andy Roddick, NBA All-Stars Allen Iverson and Yao Ming, skateboarder Stevie Williams, music sensations 50 Cent and Jay Z and many other young, rising stars and established icons in the sports and entertainment worlds as Rbk endorsers.
"Sidney is the perfect athlete to represent not only Rbk Hockey, but also the Reebok brand," said Reebok's Senior Vice President John Frascotti. "He is one of the rare athletes who comes along once in a generation, and we are very excited to have him as part of the Reebok team."
The full Rbk Hockey product line will be available at retail on March 15th. For more information on Rbk Hockey products, go to http://www.rbkhockey.com.
Reebok International Ltd., 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 and Greg Norman Brands and footwear under the Polo Ralph Lauren Brand. Sales for 2004 totaled approximately $3.8 billion.