Nelly Inks Long Term Deal With Reebok

Nelly entered into

a long term agreement with apparel giant Reebok today (July 19), joining the company's

Hip-Hop heavy line of celebrity endorsers. Under the terms

of the deal, Nelly will develop and market a line of footwear, apparel and accessories.

The rapper will

also be added to Reebok’s I Am What I Am” global ad campaign, the

company’s biggest advertising campaign in 10 years.

"I've always

been into sneakers and throughout my career I've always wanted to have a signature

pair of sneakers that truly reflect my personal style," Nelly said. "It

made the most sense for me to partner with Reebok because they fully understand

and respect the culture of sports, music and entertainment."

Dennis Baldwin,

Reebok’s Chief Marketing Officer said the deal with an artist of Nelly’s

caliber would elevate “the fusion of sports and music to a whole new level."

"Not only

is Nelly an incredible artist, but his passion for music is equally matched

by his love of sports,” Baldwin said. “Nelly has a unique style

that transcends music and cultural genres with a broad consumer appeal that

speaks to who Reebok truly is as a brand."

The launch of Nelly’s

signature series of sneakers and clothing will be timed to coincide with the

2005 holiday season. Initially, the line will be available in specialty boutiques

only, with distribution increasing in 2006.

Other stars part

of the "I Am What I Am” campaign include Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Stevie Williams,

Allen Iverson, Curt Schilling, Donavan McNabb, Christina Ricci and others.

Nelly is currently on his first tour of Australia.