Update #2, April 8: Reebok addressed the rumor that Beyonce decided not to work with the company due to a lack of diversity in the following statement to Refinery29:
"The report that Beyoncé walked out of a meeting with Reebok due to lack of diversity is categorically false. Our discussions with Beyoncé and her team continued for several months after our initial meeting. We are disappointed that false information is being reported as fact."
Update: In a recent episode of ESPN’s “The Jump,” writer Nick DePaula said Beyonce was previously in talks with Reebok about a potential partnership. He claims she opted out of working with the sneaker brand because of the pitch team's lack of diversity.
"She had a meeting at Reebok and they had a whole presentation of everything, potential products, how this could all look," he explained, "and she kinda took a step back and said 'is this the team that would be working on my product'? And somebody said 'yes' and she said 'nobody in this room reflects my background, my skin color, and where I'm from and what I want to do'. And so she kinda took a step back and left and then, it did not come to terms."
ESPN Writer @NickDePaula reveals Beyoncé walked out of a meeting w/ @Reebok after she highlighted the pitch team's lack of diversity & non-existent representation of her background and skin color. ?— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BeyLegion) April 5, 2019
He also talks about Bey getting offers from Jordan (@Jumpman23) & @UnderArmour. pic.twitter.com/J2P3cvGw6I
According to DePaula, she also had discussions with Under Armour and Jordan Brand as well, but ultimately, she decided to move forward with Adidas.
This story was originally published on April 4, 2019.
Beyoncé is joining the Adidas family, which already includes a familiar face, Kanye West and his infamous Yeezys. On Thursday, Adidas announced a new "multi-layered partnership" with the Lemonade singer that will include inspiring and empowering the next generation of creators, driving positive change in the world through sport, and identifying new business opportunities, according to a release.
“This is the partnership of a lifetime for me,” Beyoncé said in the same release. “Adidas has had tremendous success in pushing creative boundaries. We share a philosophy that puts creativity, growth and social responsibility at the forefront of business. I look forward to re-launching and expanding Ivy Park on a truly global scale with a proven, dynamic leader.”
The new Ivy Park will include exciting products in the athleisure space that focus on empowering and enabling the next generation of athletes, creators and leaders. And because it's Beyoncé, we can expect rich storytelling and graphics.
“As the creator sports brand, Adidas challenges the status quo and pushes the limits of creativity through its open source approach,” Eric Liedtke, Executive Board Member - Global Brands, Adidas said in a press release. “Beyoncé is an iconic creator but also a proven business leader, and together, we have the ability to inspire change and empower the next generation of creators.”
Last year, Beyoncé bought back Ivy Park, her athleisure line, from Topshop after mogul Philip Green's alleged sexual harassment case. Her new partnership with Adidas will respect Beyoncé’s full ownership of Ivy Park which continues her journey as one of the first black women to be the sole owner of an athleisure brand.