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Reebok engages in some social media teasing of New Balance

Reebok shoes were displayed at a corporate store in Canton in 2003.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff/Boston Globe

Reebok is getting a kick out of poking fun at rival New Balance and its post-election PR stumbles.

After New Balance customers reacted unhappily to the company’s favorable comments about Donald Trump’s position on global trade by destroying their shoes on social media, Canton-based Reebok reached out to several to offer a free replacement pair.

To @artsy_indy, for example, who tweeted a video of her attempt to flush her New Balance sneakers down a toilet, @Reebokclassics tweeted:

“Since it looks like your toilet may be clogged, shoot us a DM [Direct Message] and we’ll send you some kicks to walk to the closest bathroom.”


Reebok issued several other messages to angry New Balance customers on Nov. 11, including this one to @tbrooks:

Reebok spokesman Daniel Sarro said Friday in an e-mail that it wasn’t part of a broader marketing campaign, just a bit of friendly outreach.

“We regularly surprise and delight new and potential fans on Reebok social channels,” he said. “It was all in good fun.”

To recap, shortly after the election, New Balance vice president of public affairs Matt LeBretton praised Trump and called his presidency a move in “the right direction” when it came to trade policies. The Boston-based company said the statement, made to a Wall Street Journal reporter, was in reference to Trump’s opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal proposed by the Obama administration that might help New Balance’s competitors.

After customers said they would dump the brand, the website “The Daily Stormer,” which traffics in white supremacist and anti-Semitic articles, asked its readers to show support for New Balance and dubbed it the “Official Shoes of White People.”

New Balance said in a statement earlier this week that it has zero tolerance for “bigotry or hate in any form” and that it is a company that “believes in humanity, integrity, community, and mutual respect for people around the world.”


Though most New Balance shoes are made overseas, the company is one of few athletic shoe brands that also manufactures its shoes in the United States.

Megan Woolhouse can be reached at megan.woolhouse@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @megwoolhouse.