Strategic alliances in the sport industry : a case review of Reebok International and the NFL
Fitness Information Technology
Leading sport businesses are recognizing the potential for added value by developing a strategic alliance strategy that enables them to access new resources, share risk and tactically manage key alliances to gain competitive advantage. Through strategic alliance partnerships, sport firms may be more effectively accessing and commercializing new technologies, developing sport products and services, creating and distributing media, enhancing sales and marketing activities, deploying customer service and expanding internationally. Additionally, there are also pitfalls that need to be recognized and proactively managed before, during and after the strategic alliance's life. A relevant case study in the sport industry is the strategic alliance developed between Reebok International and the National Football League (NFL). This strategic alliance was established in 2001 to re-engineer and further develop the NFL branded licensed apparel business. The analysis of this case examines the strategic intent behind the formation of the alliance, key challenges faced by both organizations in the development and management of the alliance, benefits derived, and other issues related to the formation and active management of a strategic alliance in the sport industry.