Reebok Picks Omnicom Group's Tribal DDB for Digital

Shop's Stable of Ex-Nike Creatives Was Draw as Company Refocuses on Basketball

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NEW YORK ( -- Reebok has named Tribal DDB to handle global digital work without a review, according to the Omnicom Group digital shop.

A number of digital agencies handled Reebok digital work prior to this global consolidation with Tribal. While Reebok's lead global agency for traditional work, DDB, Berlin, had a hand in the new relationship, Tribal's stable of ex-Nike creatives was also a draw for the marketer as it refocuses on basketball.

Creative directors Nilesh Mehta and Al Patton both joined Tribal in recent months from Interpublic Group of Cos.' R/GA, a longtime Nike digital agency. Even Tribal's U.S. chief creative, Rob Rasmussen, who landed at Tribal one year ago, has logged time on R/GA's Nike account.

Reebok did not immediately return calls seeking comment on the move.

While the sportswear company has made major inroads in the women's footwear market with recent hits ZigTech training shoes and its Easy Tone sneakers, it has faced an upward battle against Nike in the basketball category. Reebok signed then-NBA draft pick John Wall last summer, a renewed effort to take on the market leader.

However, U.S. media spending to date has focused on women's products. In 2009, Reebok spent $23 million -- more than 80% -- of its total measured media budget advertising EasyTone and it continued to heavily support the product into 2010, according to Kantar Media. Reebok spent nearly double that amount in the first nine months of 2010 -- $44 million, according to Kantar.

Tribal's New York office has been tasked with digital strategy, social media and awareness on Reebok's four product areas: men's, women's, kids and classics. Work is expected to break this quarter.

Reebok is also looking to replicate overseas its success with toning products in the U.S., Katrin Ley, head of brand strategy, business development and women's sport business told Ad Age in November.

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