Entrepreneur turned hip-hop mogul Percy “Master P” Miller and former NBA All-Star Baron Davis are in talks to acquire an athletic-wear company that has long profited off of Black entertainers and athletes popularizing the brand. That company, Reebok, which is owned by Adidas, is valued at around $2.4 billion. Miller told ESPN he and Davis are “prepared financially” after months of negotiations with the business. “These companies have been benefiting off us. This could be history for this company going Black-owned,” Miller told ESPN.
Investors have been urging Adidas to unload Reebok, which has struggled to stay relevant even amid the resurgence in popularity of brands like Adidas, Forbes reported. “I think Reebok is being undervalued,” Davis told Forbes. “I left Nike as a 22 year old kid representing myself and made the jump to Reebok, which took a chance on me as a creative and as an athlete. I want the people I know athletes, influencers, designers, celebs to sit at the table with me.”
Miller shared Davis’ sentiment in an interview with Forbes. “As we focus on turning Reebok into a lifestyle brand not just a basketball brand, our most important initiative will be to put money back into the community that built this company,” he told the magazine. Miller told ESPN he would like to give NBA Hall-of-Famer Allen Iverson “righteous icon status” for being “probably the most elite athlete wearing Reebok.” Miller stated: “Allen Iverson is (Michael) Jordan for Reebok. Nobody never gave him the royalties or ownership as the icon for the brand.”
Forbes contributor Kori Hale wrote that ”culturally astute business minds like Miller and Davis who aptly intersect music, sports and culture can be a major win for Reebok’s turnaround strategy.”
“The company actually pioneered the idea of signing rappers to shoe deals in the same way athletes were. Sean ‘Jay-Z’ Carter signed with Reebok back in 2003 and dropped the S. Carter shoes,” Hale added. “In 2004, Reebok’s U.S. footwear sales grew by 17%, due in large part to its continued investment in hip-hop. So it’s plausible that Miller and Davis could even change the wealth paradigm through investing in a major sportswear brand, and providing opportunities that didn’t exist before in the Black community.”
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