Reebok Debuts ‘First Pitch’ Digital Platform Where Consumers Determine Sneaker Production

  • 31-JUL-2020

On Friday, July 31, Reebok officially announced First Pitch, a waste-minimizing digital platform enabling consumers to collectively determine whether or not a sneaker enters production. Helping to combat the industry’s rapidly growing environmental footprint, First Pitch truly puts consumers first with product design criteria targeting niche audiences traditionally overlooked by major footwear brands.

“First Pitch arrives at a time when the industry is at a unique but critical junction, where consumers are demanding great digital experiences that also enable them to make more-mindful and considerate purchasing decisions,” said Matt Blonder, global head of digital at Reebok. “With a history of disruptive innovation, Reebok has an opportunity to leverage its technological and supply-chain expertise to shift the narrative of industry. First Pitch is a small but meaningful step in the right direction that not only sheds light on the unseen and invites them into the process, but encourages a more-thoughtful community of footwear consumers.” 

View the First Pitch launch video HERE:


This is how it works:

  • First, a product proposal (idea) is released and its commitment window opens (the first will open August 10).
  • Depending on the sneaker, the commitment window will remain open anywhere from 72 hours to 30 days.
  • Each sneaker starts at $1 and will go up $1 with each commitment until it hits retail price.
  • Reebok’s goal is 500 pairs. If that demand isn’t reached, the shoe isn’t made. 
  • Reebok will only make a shoe if consumers want it. If not, the shoe gets ditched and it’s back to the drawing board – literally. 
  • If the shoe gets made, it’ll ship approximately nine weeks later.

The platform’s introductory “pitch” is the “Bee Keeper” Classic Leather conceptualized by Reebok designers Emily Gibbemeyer and Alex Chou, for which the commitment window will open on August 10. 

“I loved the idea of First Pitch,” says Gibbemeyer. “Letting people vote on their favorite shoe and then producing, based on the demand, is a new way to incorporate more sustainable practices.”

“I have a natural fascination with nature and science and how everything in life is connected in some form - Bees are included in that connection,” said Chou in explaining the inspiration behind the “Bee Keeper” design. “This shoe doesn’t have to be all about taking a stand or having a heavy perspective on our future. The vibe we are trying to capture is the beauty and importance of this creature first.”

For now, consumers can visit to learn more about the platform, which will officially launch on August 10.