In a bid to improve communication, Reebok is creating a team that will communicate with influencers directly.
Last year, the sports brand brought on Purvi Patel to direct and oversee influencer marketing operations.
While the company has a long history of collaborating with celebrities and athletes, Reebok is looking to create lasting relationships with digital influencers too. Patel is now focused on creating an influencer response team that is separate from the company's existing marketing department.
Running an influencer campaigns means allowing the creator a level of freedom that a traditional celebrity or athlete may not require.
"I get briefed by our US marketing team and I come back with recommendations as to the program, what it should look like, the types of people we work with and the vetting [process],” Patel said, speaking to The Drum.
“It comes down to something as simple as [marketing] saying: ‘this is our commercial colorway, we want all our influencers wearing this colorway’, and I'm like ‘no – you’ve got to let them have their creative freedom of picking whatever colour they want, as long as it's the product you want to promote.
“[It’s about] being less prescriptive ...and showing that we want to make sure that this influencer likes the product and potentially – in a best case scenario – continues to wear it without any kind of sponsored post.”
While Reebok may be planning to run all of its influencer relations in-house, Patel believes that some aspects of a campaign will still be managed externally. This is down to the sheer size of the brand mixed with the broad selection of influencers the company works with.
“It's impossible to work individually with the hundreds of influencers that we work with, so we work with a lot of different tools and agencies to make sure they're pre-vetting lists before they even come to us,” Patel added.
Patel also said that the vetting and general administration tasks such as drawing contracts, paying influencers and organising timescales is "really tough to do 100% in-house when you're working at a gigantic global company like Reebok".