Reebok leaps into obstacle racing

CANTON, Mass. — Global fitness brand Reebok has entered into a multi-year partnership with Spartan Race that will see Reebok as the title sponsor of the global race series.

Reebok’s titular sponsorship begins with the first race of the season at Vail Lake Resort in Temecula, Calif., on January 26 and 27.

Reebok will be the racing series’ official apparel, footwear and accessories supplier. In addition, the Reebok Spartan Race will be featured in the brand’s upcoming global marketing campaign. Reebok also plans to develop a range of products specifically created for the demands of Reebok Spartan Race athletes, which will be available in fall.

The brand announced the partnership at a live event in New York. The Reebok Spartan Race Times Square Challenge is being hailed as Times Square’s first-ever extreme obstacle race. Hundreds of contestants took part, including actress and model Brooklyn Decker; former NY Giants All-Pro Tiki Barber; Spartan Race Champion Hobie Call and Spencer Hendel, winner of the Obstacle Course event at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games. The Times Square course featured a 7 ft. wall climb, a mud crawl with barbed wire, a 10 ft. high Hercules Hoist, a 75 ft. sandbag carry and other obstacles.

Founded in 2010, the Spartan Race series expects to attract 500,000 athletes in 2013, up from 350,000 in 2012. Spartan is a timed event series featuring races at four escalating distances in locations worldwide. The series culminates in a world championship finale with a prize of more than $500,000. As well as the competitive elite heats, Spartan Races are set up for athletes of all levels and ages.

“At Reebok, we recognize that the fitness landscape is changing. More and more, people are beginning to see fitness as part of their lifestyle rather than simply an activity,” said Matt O’Toole, CMO at Reebok. “Spartan Race is at the forefront of this movement. It enables people to come together to experience fitness with a community of like-minded people, to take part in something that is challenging and daunting, but at the same time, inspiring and fun. This is what makes it so rewarding, and is a large part of what is fueling the incredible growth of the sport.”

“Reebok shares our vision. They think, act and live exactly like we do down to the last detail. Both organizations believe that through fitness, ordinary people can realize their full potential and reap benefits throughout their lives. Reebok will help us expand globally, pursue our goals of making obstacle racing an Olympic sport, share the healthy living we promote, and rip people off their couches and do what human beings were made to do: run, jump, sweat and climb,” said Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena.

Reebok Spartan Race was voted Outside Magazine’s Best Obstacle Race in 2012, and touts itself as the world’s leading obstacle racing series and the first of its kind to have global rankings.