June 29, 2004

Reebok creates modern interpretation of Parthenon frieze

Posted at 9:08 pm in Acropolis

A part of their advertising campaign for during this summer’s Olympics in Athens, Reebok are creating sculptures of a number of Athletes posed to match the figures depicted in the Parthenon frieze.
It is a shame that this publicity for the frieze manages to completely ignore the division of the sculptures between two countries – a fact that is the only reason that the most people have even heard of the frieze.

The Running Network

Reebok “Freezes” a Moment in Athletic History With Modern-Day Versions of Athens’ Parthenon Friezes
June 28, 2004
From press release

London, UK (June 16, 2004) – To celebrate the Summer Games returning to their ceremonial Athenian home, Reebok will unveil sculptures of several premier athletes in poses reminiscent of the legendary Parthenon Friezes. Some of the most famous works of art, the Friezes were carved in Ancient Greece and adorned the famous Parthenon on the Acropolis. Sculptures of top Olympians Andy Roddick, reigning US Open Champion, Yao Ming, NBA superstar, and Carolina Kluft, World Champion heptathlete, will mirror the famed Parthenon Friezes. The Friezes will be unveiled on August 22nd at a special press event at the Reebok Center in Athens.

Each statue will depict the athlete in a striking pose that embodies the power and athletic prowess that serves as the inspiration for Reebok’s global marketing campaign – “Outperform.” Ming, Roddick, and Kluft were each photographed extensively in order to create a 360-degree image. They were also measured from head-to-toe to ensure that the final sculptures accurately mirror the athletes’ physiques.

The life-size Reebok Friezes are being created by famed British sculpting team, McCollin & Bryan. The sculptors recently met with Carolina Kluft in London to create the first Frieze. Kluft was covered in a rubber silicate casting plaster that set hard against her skin to accurately portray muscle definition and other features. Once the cast dried and hardened, it was peeled from Kluft’s body to reveal a detailed mold that will be used to create the finished sculpture. The completed mold will be filled with an innovative material that hardens and takes on the look and feel of marble.

“The Reebok Friezes symbolize everything that is magnificent about Reebok’s elite athletes,” said John Lynch, Reebok’s vice president of sports marketing. “The Friezes pay homage to the athletes’ dedication, perseverance and dream to be the best of the best, a dream to outperform the competition.”

The Reebok Friezes are a central element of the brand’s global Summer Games marketing campaign. In addition to the Friezes, the campaign also features stunning imagery of some of Reebok’s top athletes such as gymnastics great Alexei Nemov of Russia, and track stars Kelly Holmes of the UK, Nicolas Macrozonaris of Canada and Christine Arron of France. The imagery in the campaign is reminiscent of glorious Greek statues and will be featured in print advertising, billboards, and in-store.

Over the last few centuries, the marbles have been removed from the Parthenon and are now housed as part of Grecian displays in museums around the world.

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