Reebok signs Motown hip-hop violinist for global campaign

LONDON - Fresh from its controversial tie-up with rapper 50 Cent, Reebok has signed another musical sponsorship deal, but this time with hip-hop violinist Miri Ben-Ari, who stars in the a global 'I Am What I Am' advertising campaign.

The clothing maker has signed the deal with the Israeli Grammy-award winner, and her record label Universal Motown Records. It will see Ben-Ari starring in the global campaign, and the music video for her next single 'We Gonna Win' is to be overseen by Reebok, as well as featuring its products.

She joins musicians such as Jay-Z and Nelly, who have also appeared in the campaign, along with controversial rapper 50 cent, whose TV ad for Reebok drew the ire of anti-gun campaigners in the UK and the US.

"Partnering with Reebok is a natural fit for me because they truly value artists who are not afraid to be different and stand out from the crowd," said Ben-Ari. "I am excited to work with Reebok on my new music video and thrilled to be part of their 'I Am What I Am' campaign."

Created by New York advertising agency Mcgarrybowen, the campaign links the entire brand's marketing and advertising efforts under the "I Am What I Am" umbrella, and is supported by the company's largest advertising spend in nearly a decade.

Dennis Baldwin, Reebok's chief marketing officer, said: "Reebok is to partner with Miri because she is such a creative force in the evolution of Hip-Hop. As a true pioneer in the music world, Miri perfectly embodies our brand's 'I Am What I Am' platform of authenticity and individuality."

Ben-Ari grew up in a small town near Tel-Aviv, Israel, and began her classical music education at a very young age, until her violin lessons became too expensive for her family. Fortunately, legendary violinist Isaac Stern recommended Ben-Ari for a scholarship and she was given her first violin.

After establishing herself as an accomplished and respected jazz musician, Ben-Ari's interest evolved to R&B and hip-hop, and she has collaborated with stars including Patti LaBelle, Britney Spears and Janet Jackson.

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