Shaquille O’Neal Wants In On the Sneaker Biz: ‘I Would Love to Purchase Reebok’

Illustration for article titled Shaquille O’Neal Wants In On the Sneaker Biz: ‘I Would Love to Purchase Reebok’
Photo: Michael Tullberg (Getty Images)

Since his retirement from the NBA in 2011, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal has been just as dominant as he was on the court. His estimated net worth of over $400 million is a byproduct of a diverse portfolio that includes franchise ownership, investments and lucrative endorsements with companies like Gold Bold and Carnival Cruise Line.

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But ever eager to expand his empire, CNBC reports that the four-time NBA champion wants in on the sneaker business.

“Well, [Authentic Brands Group, one of the companies] I’m involved in, we just bought Sports Illustrated. But I would love to purchase Reebok,” O’Neal said.

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Hoop heads remember him signing a massive $15 million deal with the iconic sneaker brand in 1992, prior to Reebok becoming “diluted so much to where it’s almost gone” as brands like Puma, Under Armor and Asics have fought for their share of the market.

“If they don’t want it, let me have it,” O’Neal said. “I want to bring them back to basketball and to fitness.”

Reebok is currently experiencing a bit of a resurgence. In March, the fabled sneaker brand told Fast Company that nostalgia is big business and the company’s once-forgotten Classics now account for up to 40 percent of Reebok’s total sales.

“Young people seemed to have a kind of longing for the past,” Reebok designer Carlos Escobar said.

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Though it’s unclear what Reebok’s current value is, the company was acquired by Adidas for $3.8 billion in 2005. So if Shaq is gonna make that move, it isn’t going to come cheap. But should he acquire the sneaker brand, his track record proves the company will be in good hands.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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DISCUSSION

When you look at what people are wearing on their feet, Reebok isn’t one of the brands that I’ve noticed.  When I go to Sneaker Summits I’ve very rarely seen Reebok’s. If I do it’s classic shoes and not current ones.  It’s going to be a long road back for them but with Shaq involved, it might work. But the question is, how much if any is Addidas willing to sell it for.