While on the Full Send podcast yesterday, legendary NBA player Shaquille O’Neal revealed how he walked away from a massive $40 million dollar deal with Reebook, Footwear News reports.
On the program he recalled a moment when he was confronted by a woman who scolded him for selling his signature Rebook shoes at a price that many of his younger fans could not afford.
“That day, I cut ties with Reebok,” he said of forgoing a $40 million deal he had with the brand following a moment of clarity. “I said keep the money… this ain’t right. I’ll still wear the shoes I do during the season, but I’ll be looking to do my own thing,” he said. “So, I started the Shaq brand. I went to my favorite store, Walmart, and we did a deal. I was in all stores and my price point for the shoes was $29-$19 and since then we sold over 400 million pairs.” He added that he brought on designers from Reebok to join him in the new Walmart venture. “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.”
Shaq eventually began selling a line of Shaq brand shoes at Walmart that he said in 2016 sold “over 120 million pairs of affordable shoes for kids.” The TV personality isn’t the only NBA start to sell affordable shoes, as the ex-New York Knicks player Stephon Marbury endorsed his own range of Starbury sneakers, which sell for as little as $14.98.
Shaq played in Reebok on-court for his entire career, with his two most recognizable shoes being the Shaq Attaq or the Shaqnosis. In 2016, Reebok reissued his first the retro “Orlando Magic” colorway of the Shaq Attaq, originally released in 1992. This year Shaq even moved one step closer to owning Reebok itself, though his partnership with ABG.