Why did Shaq Reject $40 Million Reebok Deal?

Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal revealed on a podcast why he rejected a $40 million sneaker deal with Reebok and went instead to partner with Walmart.

Despite playing in Reebok on the court for his entire career, Shaq realized he had to cut ties with the brand when the prices for his signature shoes were too high.

“I said keep the money… this ain’t right,” Shaq told Reebok. “I’ll still wear the shoes I do during the season, but I’ll be looking to do my own thing.”

The NBA player said that it all started when he was confronted by a woman for selling his signature shoes that a lot of his young fans won’t be able to afford.

“I started the Shaq brand. I went to my favorite store, Walmart, and we did a deal. (…) My price point for the shoes was $29-$19.”

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Since then, the Walmart Shaq brand shoes sold over 120 million pairs of affordable shoes for kids. 

During Shaq’s heyday, two of his mot iconic pairs of Reebok shoes were the “Shaq Attack” or the “Shaqnosis”. In 2016, a version of the “Shaq Attack” called the “Orlando Magic” was reissued, its first version first appearing in stores in 1992.

On the Full Send podcast, Shaq says he even brought Reebok designers to join him on his footwear venture, reflecting on young people’s taste in shoes.

He said, “It’s not kids that don’t want to wear $20 shoes, they don’t want to wear shoes that look like they cost $20.”

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