Not enough supply for the Tribe’s demand

If you know me well, you certainly know I have a tendency to be impatient about things. It certainly applies to the fact that I’m eager to see the University of Maine’s hockey team return to the prominence this longtime fan is accustomed to, but that is another topic for another day.

What I’m alluding to here is Les Mills International’s partnership with Reebok, and the lack of new clothes that have been available to instructors all spring and summer.

To say that this partnership has been a work in progress has been an understatement, particularly here in the United States, where frustrated Tribe members are growing impatient about the lack of available threads we see our presenter heroes wearing.

To put it simply, there is not enough supply for the demand of our Les Mills tribe. And with the number of frustrated instructors growing, this is something that needs to change. And fast.

It’s gotten to the point where a petition has been started, aiming at improving availability at Reebok apparel for Les Mills instructors.

The Les Mills/Reebok partnership that was announced nearly a year ago created hope and optimism among the 100,000 strong instructor community. That hope has turned to disappointment as product availability has been extremely poor around the world, with items either completely unavailable or in limited sizes only. To date there has been no explanation for why. We, the Les Mills Instructor TR1BE, have been patient for a long time, but now formally request that Les Mills and Reebok take measures to improve availability, explain those measures to the instructor community, and ensure that the clothes we wear to represent the brand of both companies are widely available in the future. If the situation is not improved, then we fear you will lose the support of the instructor community for this potentially lucrative partnership,” the petition reads. 

I want to clarify right away that this post by no means slams Reebok in any way. Minus the product availability, the partnership has been a great one. But like every partnership, there is always room for improvement. An example: At the New Orleans quarterly, only three registers were open at the clothing sale. Instructors stood in line for up to 2 hours to spend 3 minutes paying for merchandise. Were they not ready for the throng of 2,000 instructors that were descending among the Big Easy?

As an instructor, I take a lot of pride in representing the brand every time I take the stage. I can’t remember a time in four-plus years of teaching BodyPump that I haven’t worn red or back onstage. I know it’s not a requirement, but a lot of us take pride in representing the brand.

I have no doubt that Reebok will take the necessary steps to improve product availability, not just from in terms of how any many things are available, but a variety of sizes. Nothing makes a consumer more frustrated than to find that top or pair of shorts they’ve been longing for only to find our that their size is out of stock.

One way I think things can be improved is that U.S. instructors can order merchandise from other countries pages. I recently tried this via the Canadian page, when they finally had the top I’ve been wanting in stock, only to find out that they don’t deliver to the states. That left me shaking my head. Hell, I live 95 miles from the Canadian border and my grandparents are just an RPM ride away from New Brunswick.

Much like University of Maine hockey fans who want to see our team playing in Frozen Fours and being a contender every season, the patience of our tribe is wearing thin. I can only hope that Reebok will become more efficient in making clothes available in all countries on a consistent basis.

Ryan McLaughlin

About Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective with BDN readers about what's happening on the Boston professional sports scene.