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Reebok Finds Web Lack's TV's Demographics

Reebok, a relative veteran of Web marketing, has found that while the company sees great potential online, the Web has a long way to go before it can attract a younger demographic the way television can.

Reebok launched its Web site in September 1994 in order to educate consumers about its products. The site is divided into microsites dedicated to certain sports, such as basketball and football.

Additional microsites dedicated to soccer and tennis will be launched in first quarter 1998, director of interactive marketing Marvin Chow told Simba Information Inc.'s Electronic Advertising & Marketplace Report newsletter. The site gets about 2.1 million visits per week, he added.

The company does not deliver different marketing messages via the Web from traditional media. "There is no separate strategy; everything needs to be integrated with what our buyers see on television or in stores," Chow said.

Reebok wrapped up its first Web advertising effort recently, the newsletter said. The campaign launched Oct. 31 and consisted of a contest on NBA.com in which viewers registered to win a trip to play "horse" with basketball star Allen Iverson at the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 7-8. The contest has attracted between 15,000 to 20,000 participants, Chow said. To back the contest, Reebok teamed with Intel to create technological features such as streaming banners to run at NBA.com.

"We've been on the Web for three years and it has met our expectations for the most part," Chow was quoted as saying. "Our demographic [the under 21 age group] is not the heaviest user online. We're taking it upon ourselves to get them online, through distributing diskettes in schools and stores."

Chow also thinks the creative online is falling short compared to television. "The [Web] user experience is lacking. Our target market is so used to being bombarded by visual images and audio that the Web falls short. The Web needs to be more stimulating," he said.