AMHERST, Mass. - Robert Meers, president and chief executive officer of Reebok Brands, a 1966 graduate of the University of Massachusetts, will speak at UMass at 3 p.m., Tues. April 21 in Memorial Hall. A reception will follow. Both the talk and the reception are free and open to the public.
The talk is part of a series of lectures and meetings Meers will participate in as this year’s Eleanor Bateman Scholar in Residence. That program, established in memory of Eleanor Willard Bateman ’23, brings distinguished alumni to campus each year to lecture and meet with students and faculty.
Meers received his bachelor’s degree in hotel, restaurant, and travel administration. He was a member of the football team while at UMass.
During the early days of his career, Meers worked for General Foods and Wilson Sporting Goods. From 1980-1984, he owned Bancroft Sporting Goods, a manufacturer of tennis rackets and Tretorn tennis shoes. He became a Reebok representative in 1981, and eventually sold his business to join Reebok in 1984 as senior vice president, sales and marketing. Reebok sales at the time went from about $13 million to $66 million.
Meers has since held a variety of management positions with Reebok, including head of sales, marketing, and product development at Rockport, one of Reebok’s group of brands; corporate senior vice president of sales and marketing; president of the Specialty Business Group; and president of North America Operations. In 1993, he was elected to the company’s board of directors.
Meers was appointed president and chief executive officer of Reebok Brands, the position he currently holds, in 1995.