Master P bids to own Reebok and place Allen Iverson front and center
In 2001, Allen Iverson had his most successful season in the NBA. Iverson led his team to win their first ten games. He also started and won All-Star MVP honors at the All Star Game in Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. Iverson was a star.
Allen Iverson’s style helped define the early 2000’s aesthetic. Durags, braids, and baggy clothes, Iverson’s refusal to be anything but real made him a style disrupter. Allen Iverson’s unapologetic marriage between hoops and hip hop in his fashion led the NBA to be the first major sports league to have a dress code. In 2005, National Basketball Association Commissioner, David Stern made the dress code that required athletes to wear business casual attire to games and a sports coat with dress shoes when on the bench.
Iverson’s struggles after leaving the NBA were public and disheartening, especially to those coming of age while his star was on the rise. Allen Iverson was a movement that happened before the Age of Influencers. On the court, Iverson was an iconoclast who’s authenticity connected fashion, music, and basketball audiences. One could argue Iverson’s authenticity, dunked so we could post, tag, and retweet.
20 years later, Reebok is for sale, confirmed by parent company, Adidas Group, last month. Since the announcement, rapper and entrepreneur Percy “Master P” Miller has emerged as an interested buyer with former NBA player Baron Davis as a partner. Adidas (ADDYY) acquired Reebok in 2006 for $3.8 billion, but the brand has been in decline for the last few years. Adidas says it will announce a buyer on March 10 according to Yahoo! Finance.
Miller believes there is equity left in Reebok that would grow best if the company were Black-owned. Master P plans to bring in more diverse designers with the ultimage goal being to stimulate economic empowerment in Black communities. Miller plans to partner with Black businesses and creatives and “make Reebok cool again”. And one of the first faces to be featured in this Reimagined Reebok: Allen Iverson.
“The way we look at Michael Jordan for Nike (NKE), we look at Allen Iverson that way in Reebok,” Miller says. “We need to bring him to the forefront. We need to bring in better designers. We also need to make this for the millennials. And I think that that would be a game changer.”Percy “Master P” Miller (Yahoo! Finance)
Miller, is known for the success of record label No Limit but has many diverse business ventures to include a sports management company, a clothing line, a real estate firm, a phone sex business, a high end travel agency, a video game company and a film studio.
“The way we look at Michael Jordan for Nike (NKE), we look at Allen Iverson that way in Reebok,” Miller says. “We need to bring him to the forefront. We need to bring in better designers. We also need to make this for the millennials. And I think that that would be a game changer.”
Trends seem to make their way back around every couple decades. If so, Reebok being owned by Master P and Baron Davis, with Shaquille O’Neal also being offered “a seat at the table” and Allen Iverson as the brand’s darling is right on time.