Reebok is scuttling the logo that once graced hundreds of professional athletes as it embraces what it is calling the sport of fitness.
It is only the second major logo change in the brand's 121-year history. From its founding in the United Kingdom in 1895 until 1986, the brand featured a Union Jack flag. In 1986 it switched to the vector logo, which will be gradually phased out on all products except Reebok Classics. The new delta logo, which has been used on some of the company's Crossfit gear, will be rolled out broadly on footwear and apparel this month.
"For 30 years we've been successfully making products for elite athletes in every imaginable sport, but what we haven't been able to do is inspire enough people to move," said Matt O'Toole, Reebok Chief Marketing Officer, in a video posted on YouTube. "It's an invitation for all of us to take part and fight against complacency for everyday people not just super stars and elite athletes."
Reebok has a long history of endorsing elite athletes, from basketball stars Allen Iverson and Yao Ming to football players like Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis. It has also outfitted baseball, tennis, soccer and hockey players. Reebok gave up its NFL sponsorship in 2012 and rumors have circulated that the brand could be replaced by parent company Adidas on NHL jerseys -- there is precedent, Adidas replaced Reebok as an NBA sponsor in 2006.
As the brand has ceded deals with professional leagues to its parent company, it has embraced Crossfit, yoga, dance and aerobics, as a means to grow its business. Reebok has also teamed up with Les Mills -- known for exercise programs like Bodypump and Bodycombat -- as well as the Spartan Race series of obstacle course races.
The new logo coincides with the brand's "singular" focus on fitness. "Through the millennia the delta has been a symbol of change and transformation," the company explained in a press release. "The Reebok Delta has three distinct parts each representing the changes -- physical, mental and social -- that occur when people push themselves beyond their perceived limits and embrace an active and challenging life."
The delta symbol, of course, will also look familiar to anyone who has recycled, used Google Drive or flown Delta Air Lines.
Earlier this month, Reebok selected indie agency Venables Bell & Partners as its new global lead agency after a review. The account had flip-flopped between Omnicom's DDB and Dentsu's McGarrybowen over the course of the last decade.
Though sales at Reebok have been sluggish in recent years, the brand is showing some signs of improvement. During the most recent quarter, sales increased 5%, and executives said the brand would grow for the full year.