Reebok taps Allen Iverson and more to reimagine iconic 1980s campaign – Footwear News

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With its latest star-studded campaign, Reebok looked to an iconic effort from the past to create a statement to inspire the future.

The brand’s latest effort, dubbed ‘Life is not a spectator sport’, was directed by Reebok’s Senior Creative and Marketing Design Director, Jide Osifeso, and inspired by his ‘Because Life is not a spectator sport” from 1984. The campaign, according to Reebok, was created to inspire consumers to “participate in whatever moves them – be it fashion, sports, music, art or activism”. The brand went on to say that it hopes this effort inspires them to “pursue their passions, celebrate their individuality, and become active participants in the world around them.”

Speaking to FN, Osifeso called the phrase ‘Life is not a spectator sport’ a ‘modern carpe diem’.

Reebok and Osifeso tapped several personalities from various creative mediums for “Life Is Not a Spectator Sport”, including NBA icon Allen Iverson.

“For someone like me and my relationship with basketball, Allen Iverson is a god culturally, on and off the court. When we thought about incorporating the people we have, it was important to have the contemporary artists we have, but that couldn’t happen without someone like AI. He’s Reebok,” Osifeso said. “Newness is a subjective term because I feel like someone like Allen Iverson is reborn almost every season. I feel like any modern day basketball player has to pay homage to AI in terms of style of play and even style of clothing. To have a holistic view of what we wanted to do, there had to be no other way.

“Life Is Not a Spectator Sport” is set to original music by Arca with narration by Brent Faiyaz, both of which are featured in the campaign. Also included in the effort are London rapper Ghetts, singer-songwriter Lolo Zouai and Nigerian singer-songwriter Tems.


A photo of Arca for Reebok’s “Life is Not a Spectator Sport” campaign.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Reebok

The campaign features a hero movie in which each person shares their own unique and inspiring story.

“We went there without a script. There is no agenda for what we wanted people to say,” Osifeso said. “My approach was basically to ask the same questions of all these types of people and really show their personality. We asked each person exactly the same question and we got such varied answers that were really beautiful. When I remember being on set and talking to them and we had them mic, there was a lot of newness.

He continued: “Even Allen Iverson, someone we’ve all known for so many years. We were able to capture something that had never been seen before. It was really special. He was telling us how he was perceived, and I don’t really hear that from his voice, even in documentaries and stuff like that.

Although Osifeso said “Life is not a spectator sport” was created to tell the larger story of Reebok and was not necessarily designed to promote any particular shoe, central to the campaign. sits the iconic classic leather silhouette. Reebok said in a statement that it will expand its Classic Leather offering with its Spring 22 delivery of new colorways, refinements and styles.

While the campaign tells a larger Reebok story, Osifeso said he really appreciates classic leather.

“Shoes like classic leather and a lot of Reebok products, it feels like home. It’s just very comfortable. It’s just a classic product,” Osifeso said. “I don’t want more of it. It’s given me everything I’ve needed over the years, being reinterpreted and used as a collaboration platform, it’s an amazing product.


Brent Faiyaz Reebok Campaign Life is Not a Spectator Sport

Brent Faiyaz for Reebok’s “Life is Not a Spectator Sport” campaign.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Reebok

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