Reebok Remix: Pump Up the (Sales) Volume

Last year, it was out with the old and in with the new at Reebok, as the company abandoned its well-known Vector logo in favor of a new Delta logo. The Delta logo – only the third log in Reebok’s 121 year history – was chosen by the company as part of Adidas’s decision (yes, Adidas purchased Reebok in 2005) to rebrand the Reebok as a fitness brand closely aligned with CrossFit.

This year, it appears to be in with the old at Reebok as the company is remixing a classic, The Pump. Reebok developed its pump technology in 1989. The innovative shoe allowed customers to control the fit using a built-in air pressure mechanism. The company protected the technology and brand well, obtaining multiple patents and a federal trademark registration for THE PUMP, Reg. No. 1943292.

If you grew up in the late 80s or early 90s, you either had Pump sneakers or wanted Pump sneakers. Indeed, Reebok sold 4 million pairs of Pump sneakers in the first 18 months after the innovative shoe hit shelves. Those sales resulted in $500 million of revenue, which was equivalent to 1/6 of Reebok’s annual revenue at the time.

The original Pump was made for basketball. The new Pump, the ZPump, is not. While Reebok is bringing back the Pump, it is not bringing back Reebok’s old identity. Instead, the ZPump is made for running and training to fit with Reebok’s new CrossFit identity. Like the original Pump, Reebok is already hard at work to protect the technology underlying the latest iteration via new patent applications on the shoe.

If the ZPump proves anywhere near as popular as The Pump (and Reebok hopes it is), don’t be surprised to see Reebok pursue additional trademark protection as well.

Maybe it will even lead to some new Dave Chappelle material!