Reebok International has blamed the economic downturn for its decision to cut about 300 jobs in North America and Latin America.

The sports goods company, owned by Germany's Adidas, has enforced the job cuts with immediate effect, with sales and marketing among the departments affected.

"This was an inevitable step on our way to making the Reebok organisation leaner, more flexible and more profitable to be prepared for future challenges - in particular in the light of the current economic climate," an Adidas spokesperson told just-style.

She added that the global workforce of the Adidas Group was likely to remain stable during 2009, totalling more than 37,000 employees worldwide.

Local reports in the US said that more than 100 workers had lost their jobs at Reebok's company headquarters in Massachusetts, with other facilities in the US, Canada and Latin America also affected.