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Reebok's Hip-Hopping Launch

January 22, 2002, 12:00 AM EST

Reebok product and marketing campaign launch party Eyebeam Atelier Friday, 01.18.02, 7 PM to 12 AM
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Reebok set out to mix hip-hop and hoops at its product launch event, and the result was a raucous party that heated up the vast raw space Eyebeam Atelier. The retailer's new RBK line of footwear and apparel is inspired by--and marketed by--NBA star Allen Iverson and rappers Jadakiss and Missy Elliott, so the party mixed sports influences and music elements, including a live performance by R. Kelly.

Denise Kaigler, Reebok's vice president of global communications, hired Musters & Company to design the event, and Mark Musters brought in a mix of decor elements that--combined with a crowd ready for a fun Friday night party--created an energetic atmosphere. Chain-link fences placed against the space's large brick walls brought a raw, urban feeling to the party, and large X-shaped props--echoing the icon in Reebok's logo--lit up in red behind the bars for a funky look. Frenetic projections (put together by Dorian Orange) played on the space's large white wall and a large piece of sheer fabric between the venue's two large rooms. Lounge areas had red ottomans, with metal tables and pillows with team logos and words like “authenticity” and “passion.”

To help create the warm feeling in the large raw space (which hosted the Harper's Bazaar relaunch party four days earlier) Frost Lighting designer Derrick Roberts used lots of red lights (including logo gobos) throughout the space, and bold purples and greens on the stage for the performance.

Strategic Group's Jason Strauss and Noah Tepperberg managed the event, which drew a very mixed crowd with middle-aged white guys, scores of hip-hop fans and the usual batch of young New York partygoers. One score for Reebok: Sean “Puffy” Combs made an appearance, surrounded by a group of pushy bodyguards.

All seemed to be having a lot of fun for a corporate party, enjoying the plentiful bars and generous amounts of hors d'oeuvres (spring rolls, tiny hamburgers, sushi rolls) from Match Catering and Eventstyles, which were served by waiters wearing Reebok T-shirts and jerseys.

--Chad Kaydo

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