Reebok is a Good Neighbor
The Canton-based Reebok International Ltd has been a 'good neighbor' since moving in 10 years ago.
Reebok has done a lot for the town of Canton and the company's recent $10,000 donation to the Canton Food Pantry shows the company is invested in its community, according to town officials.
"Reebok has always been a great, great neighbor," Selectman John Connolly said. "They came down and said 'What can we do?' and they made this donation."
Connolly was Chairman of the Board of Selectmen when Reebok came to town 10 years ago.
"Did we give them some tax breaks? Yes, but you have to spend money to make money…and Reebok has done a lot for Canton," Connolly said. "They give time after time after time; all I have to do is call."
In 2000, Reebok International, Ltd (NYSE: RBK) finished building its world headquarters on J.W. Foster Boulevard.
Reebok donates $30,000 annually to Canton High School for new uniforms and footwear, it has improved the town's softball field, it has donated the use of Reebok International's private athletic fields on its 40-acre campus, it offers Canton residents a 50 percent discount on merchandise once a year and it is a major sponsor of (and participant in) the annual Canton Road Race.
"The money value is very, very important but it is also the prestige of having a lot of great companies, like Reebok, in Canton," Connolly said. "It's kind of a feather in our cap; they want to stay here and we worked hard to make that happen."
"We try to be a good neighbor," Patricia Comeau of Reebok's Community Relations Department said. "We appreciate what the town has done for us, they've let us come in, they let us be a good neighbor, and I think that's just the kind of company that Reebok is -- we want to be a good neighbor."
In addition to the many donations Reebok makes to the town, it also offers three scholarships each year.
"Our committee and our decision makers base the scholarship awards on what the student has done to give back to Canton," Comeau said.
Connolly said that Reebok helps the town in many ways, often behind the scenes, and does not look for the limelight.
"When [former Reebok President and Chief Executive Officer] Paul Fireman said, 'We want to be good neighbors,' he meant it; they've been good neighbors," said Connolly.