January 4, 2006, 12:00 AM

Barrio style on the web

Reebok International Ltd. is using a mix of e-commerce and interactive media to build up its presence among online Hispanic shoppers. In November, Reebok launched BarrioRBK.com, a new online shopping and product information site aimed at young male Hispanic shoppers.

Reebok International Ltd. is using a mix of e-commerce and interactive media to build up its presence among online Hispanic shoppers. In November, Reebok launched BarrioRBK.com, a new online shopping and product information site aimed at young male Hispanic shoppers.

BarrioRBK.com highlights the latest Reebok products such as the Pump Wrapshear running shoe and links visitors directly to Reebok’s web store. The site is designed to appeal to young Hispanic males who purchase licensed clothing from sports teams such as Chivas, a Mexican soccer team. “Barrio RBK allows Reebok to connect with the ever-expanding Latino youth audience,” says Marc Fireman, Reebok’s global director of advertising and integrated marketing. “We’re offering a new, culturally connected destination for consumers.”

To make the site more interactive, Reebok has partnered with Sony Corp. to launch RBK Radio, a digital media program where users can listen to 200 free Latin and other music tracks.

The new site is a mix of trendy images and interactive media blended to attract the attention of online Hispanic shoppers and Internet users, which research firm eMarketer says will total about 17 million in 2006.

Reebok built its site to appeal to a younger demographic-almost 40% of the U.S. Hispanic market is under 18-which remains largely untapped. “Not many consumer brand manufacturers have figured out that market, which puts Reebok and BarrioRBK.com ahead of the curve,” says Edward T. Rincón, president of Hispanic market research firm Rincón & Associates in Dallas.

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