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REEBOK EXTENDS ITS COMMITMENT TO WOMEN BY SIGNING THREE ACCOMPLISHED ATHLETES

 STOUGHTON, Mass., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Reebok, a leader in women's sports and fitness products and programming, has recently signed three women athletes: figure skating National Championship gold medalist Nancy Kerrigan, Atlanta Knights goalies Manon Rheaume, and fitness expert Kathy Smith. These women join the ranks of other endorsed Reebok athletes that together represent competitive excellence in a wide variety of professional and amateur sports and fitness pursuits.
 Other women athletes who are currently endorsed by Reebok include Olympic middle distance runner Suzy Hamilton; member of the 1992 Olympic bronze medal winning women's basketball team Clarissa Davis; Olympic 400m gold medalist from France Marie-Jose Perec; world class marathoner and winner of 1990 New York City Marathon Wanda Panfil; pro beach volleyball competitor Liz Masakayan; and step training pioneer and Step Reebok creative consultant Gin Miller.
 "We enjoy a long-standing heritage with women and athletics," said Angel Martinez, president of Reebok Fitness Division. "Whether they skate, goal tend or spike volleyballs, we recognize the enormous accomplishments of these three women and hope our endorsement of them communicates our support of women in athletics across the country and world," explained Martinez.
 "Reebok believes that contributing to the prestige and prominence of female athletes, from a wide variety of sport and fitness activities, will position these women as role models for children and young adults. This is extremely important to the continuing evolution of female athletes in the years to come," explained Martinez. "Through corporate endorsements and media exposure, these inspirational female athletes will become more available to young people, especially young women."
 Traditionally, the majority of athlete sponsorships have been received by men. As a result of Reebok's long-standing relationship with women in fitness and sports, the company has designated a team to develop relationships with accomplished female athletes across the country. This team was responsible for signing relationships with Kerrigan, Rehaume and Smith.
 In addition to a gold medal in the 1933 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Kerrigan also won a bronze medal at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games and a silver medal at the 1992 World Championships.
 Kerrigan began skating at the age of six and entered her first competition at age nine. In addition to being an accomplished athlete, Kerrigan will be featured in People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in 1993 issue. Among other wins, Kerrigan has also captured gold medals at the 1991 Nations Cups, 1990 U.S. Olympic Festival and the 1988 National Collegiate Championships.
 Manon Rheaume is the first woman to appear in an NHL game. Her athleticism and skill as a goalie for the Knights have been lauded by everyone from hockey great Wayne Gretsky to college-age women hockey players. Rheaume began playing with her brothers when she was five. With the support of her father, a peewee level coach, she was encouraged to pursue the game. Today, experts believe that Rheaume's performance on the ice is not unlike any other junior goalie making a first NHL appearance.
 "Manon serves as an incredible role model for women who want to try their hand at unconventional sports," said Martinez. "Basically, her success as an NHL goalie says, 'don't take no for an answer.' By setting such an outstanding example, Manon communicates the unbridled spirit of athletes that lies at the core of Reebok's philosophy towards sports and fitness."
 Kathy Smith is one of the most widely known and respected names in fitness. She has dedicated her professional life to communicating health and wellness messages to the public through television, videos and radio. As fitness correspondent for NBC's Today Show, Smith educates millions of viewers on fitness, nutrition and wellness. With 10 years of professional experience in the fitness industry and over 5 million videos in the marketplace, she is considered by many the definitive expert on exercise related issues. Smith was recently signed by Reebok as the spokesperson for the Reebok Bodywalk(sm) program, an educational program designed to teach walkers how to increase the intensity of their walking workout. Smith will make media appearances and act as a consultant for the evolving Bodywalk program.
 Kerrigan, Rheaume and Smith each embody the profile of the cross- trainer -- athletes who may compete in one sport but participate in several to increase strength and stamina. Cross training -- combining strength training with a variety of cardiovascular activities -- is being adopted by today's exercise enthusiast.
 "The layman is now following a regime that competitive athletes have been using for years to increase their level of performance," explained Martinez. "Cross-training, or using a variety of sports/fitness activities to enhance the performance of the 'choice' sport, is used by pro football, basketball, baseball and hockey players as well as swimmers, skiers and skaters, among others. Kerrigan, Rheaume, Smith and Hamilton are all accomplished athletes that use a variety of sports to increase their overall performances."
 Reebok will continue its commitment to women athletes by exploring sponsorship opportunities with women athletes from a wide variety of sports, continuing the research and development behind performance footwear and apparel for women, and launching a $28 million advertising campaign, Reebok's most extensive effort targeted to women to date.
 In January Reebok sponsored the Hermann Trophy which recognizes college soccer's most outstanding players. In 1988, the Hermann Trophy became the first major collegiate trophy awarded to both a male and female athlete.
 Additionally, Reebok is now an official sponsor of the U.S. Gymnastics Federation. Team members will train and compete in Reebok products.
 Reebok International Ltd., headquartered in Stoughton, Mass., is a leading worldwide designer, marketer and distributor of sports, fitness and casual footwear and apparel. Principle operating units include the Reebok Division, AVIA Group International, and The Rockport Company.
 -0- 2/24/93
 /CONTACT: Dominique Adair of Cohn & Wolfe, 212-598-3622, for Reebok/


CO: Reebok International ST: Massachusetts IN: REA SU:

CH -- NE008 -- 9951 02/24/93 13:33 EST
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Date:Feb 24, 1993
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