Joe Foster
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Joe Foster

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Joseph William Foster (Joe Foster) was born in 1935 in Bolton England with the same birthday 18th May, as his grandfather, also Joseph William Foster who had died 18 months earlier. Joe’s grandfather was the founder of J W Foster & Sons (Athletic Shoes) Ltd and the inventor of the Spiked Running Shoe and the Trainer (Sneaker). In 1943 at the age of 8, Joe won an American Websters dictionary in an 80 yards sprint race in his home town of Bolton. This was the dictionary where Joe was to find the word REEBOK, in 1960. Joe and his late brother Jeff were born into the J W Foster & family business, but on their return after 2 years away from home on National Service, they asked questions. The year was 1955 and the brothers saw a business still rooted in the 1930’s. Their Father and Uncle were now operating the business and very much like another Sports Shoe company, spent more time feuding than collaborating. The result was that in 1958 Joe and Jeff left the Foster business to set up a new Sports Shoe company. 6 miles down the road in the next town, Bury, the brothers founded Mercury Sports Footwear, which after 18 months they changed its name to REEBOK. Joe had been advised to protect their company’s name by registering it. Finding the word Mercury was registered by another company started the search for a new name and one source was Joe’s Webster’s dictionary. Leafing through for inspiration Joe came across REEBOK, a small South African Gazelle. Sounded just right and was free to register. The Reebok business developed with eventually Jeff looking after production, Joe sales and marketing, as well as designing what is now the classic silhouette, outsole and Starcrest.
Initially, Joe travelled many miles introducing Reebok’s offering to Sports Retailers up an down the country. By 1965, Joe was on his way to the NSGA (National Sporting Goods of America) Show in Chicago, which was the start of many Global adventures and experiences that after 15 years brought him together with Paul Fireman and later many Stars of film and television. As the surviving Founder of Reebok, Joe still welcomes the opportunity to travel and recount those early stories from start-up to becoming World No. 1. Joe has written a book, Shoemaker, (publishing on 17th September by Simon & Schuster UK) documenting the journey from the eighteen hundreds to the end of the 1980’s when he retired from his full time role at Reebok. He remains a global ambassador for Reebok.
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  • Regular price: $17.35 or 1 credit

    Sale price: $17.35 or 1 credit

    • Reebok and the Untold Story of a Lancashire Family Who Changed the World
    • By: Joe Foster
    • Narrated by: Elliot Fitzpatrick
    • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
    • Release date: 10-01-20
    • Language: English
    • 5 out of 5 stars 5 ratings

    Regular price: $15.70 or 1 credit

    Sale price: $15.70 or 1 credit

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