Rap mogul Master P and former NBA star Baron Davis are negotiating to buy Reebok from its parent company, Adidas, for $2.4 billion.
The deal would make the legendary shoe giant the first Black-owned major sneaker brand.
Adidas acquired Reebok in 2005 for $3.8 billion, however, its value has decreased significantly in the decade and a half since that deal, and Adidas is looking to offload the brand.
Reebok was the first major shoe company to sign a music artist in an endorsement deal the way big-label companies previously attached themselves to athletes. The brand collaborated with Jay-Z in 2003 and saw an immediate increase in sales the following year.
“I think Reebok is being undervalued,” said Davis, according to 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.”
“These companies have been benefiting off us, this could be history for this company going Black-owned,” Master P, whose real name is Percy Miller, told ESPN.
The men’s purchase could reenergize Reebok in the sneaker and streetwear markets as a Black-owned brand in a year that has seen many calling for change in socioeconomic and racial justice. They reportedly plan to pave lanes making it easier for independent sneaker-makers to get their products distributed.
“As we focus on turning Reebok into a lifestyle brand, not just a basketball brand,” said Miller, “our most important initiative will be to put money back into the community that built this company.”
Both Davis and Miller are entrepreneurs with investments in media, technology, sports, music and fashion. Miller also recently entered the food market with his Uncle P food products.
Miller has an estimated net worth of over $200 million. Davis’ net worth is estimated at $60 million.
“We want this to be a community effort,” said Vy Le, chief operating officer of Baron Davis Enterprises, “that sets up the next generation of leaders for success.”