The banns are reportedly about to be called for an Anglo-German marriage. German sportswear titan Adidas-Salomon is starry-eyed about UK rival Reebok - an emotion apparently reciprocated by the blushing Brit.

Love may figure somewhere in the match - but the marriage, if consummated, will be very much one of convenience, the happy couple believing the union will give a massive boost to their competitive muscle in the global sportswear market, currently dominated by Oregon-headquartered Nike

According to the Wall Street Journal, Adidas is poised to pay about $59 (€48.32; £33.28) a share for Reebok - a thirty-four percent premium over the latter's price on the New York Stock Exchange at Tuesday's close.

In the USA, Nike currently commands around 36% of the athletic footwear market, while Adidas and Reebok jointly hold 21.1% (respectively 8.9% and 12.2%).

Elsewhere on the globe, however, barely a whisker separates Nike and Adidas, and the latter's acquisition of Reebok would comfortably propel it into the number one position outside the US - not least because of Reebok's enhanced fashion appeal to Asia's burgeoning and trend-conscious youth market.

Although primarily a British owned company, Reebok is headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff