“Reebok and Adidas will be able to significantly better realize their growth potential independently of each other,” CEO Kasper Rorsted said. “We will work diligently in the coming months to ensure a successful future for the Reebok brand and the team behind it,” he added.
But the brand has underperformed in recent years and lost market share. It now accounts for just 7% of Adidas’ sales, down from about 18% in 2010, according to financial statements.
Rorsted launched a turnaround plan in 2016 after taking over as Adidas CEO, which returned Reebok to profitability in 2018 and saw it land endorsement deals with celebrities such as Ariana Grande and Cardi B.
Adidas said it will focus efforts on strengthening its own brand in the global sporting goods market. “The long-term growth opportunities in our industry are highly attractive, particularly for iconic sports brands,” Rorsted said.
Authentic Brands Group (ABG) and China’s Anta Sports could also be potential suitors. ABG owns the rights to basketball great Shaquille O’Neal’s business endeavors. O’Neal reportedly said in 2019 that he would love to be a part owner of Reebok.
Adidas, which acquired Reebok in 2006 for $3.8 billion, will report the brand as “discontinued operations” from the first quarter of 2021.