Shaq can be called one of the most influential players in the NBA. Even after his retirement, Diesel managed to attract the attention of numerous fans and successfully tried his luck in different sectors, as well as, making his own shoes.
Who makes Shaq shoes? Shaq shoes which are popular in the United States and around the globe, are made by Walmart – an American multinational retail corporation. According to the official information, Shaq has already managed to sell over 120 million pairs of shoes. They are aimed at providing quality and style at an affordable price.
When we talk about Walmart, this is a place where Shaq carried out the biggest purchase. Let’s have a look at Shaq’s shoe deal and interesting facts.
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Shaq and Shoes
It’s hard to make shoes for big players like Shaq. Shaquille O’Neal spent 19 seasons in the NBA and established himself as one of the most dominant big men in history. Despite the greatness on the basketball court, O’Neal’s sneakers were never considered great.
The former center got his Shaq brand. His shoes were sold at chain stores like Walmart and Shoe Warehouse. That said, given how poorly recived O’Neal’s sneakers from the 90’s were, it may have been a slow start to people coming around to seeing Shaq Shoes as an acceptable purchase.
Shaq and Jordan Shoes
Shaquille O’Neal successfully sells shoes at discount stores like Walmart and Shoe Carnival.
The Shaq-branded sneakers border on copyright infringement as they closely mimic Jordan’s silhouettes. According to the basketball player, this was done on purpose.
An interaction with a fan on a basketball court inspired Shaq to create and develop his own brand. The mother confronted him and said it was shameful that NBA player endorsed sneakers were $150 dollars and up. Shaq took this on board and decided to put his name and money behind a change. Kids don’t want to wear cheap sneakers, there is style and performance to conisder. Shaq had this in mind for the whoel concept. He tasked his team to focus on affordability without losing style or comfort.
What’s really cool is the marketing component, which O’Neal himself was responsible for. At different times, Shaq released a bunch of funny accessories for the amusement of the public and celebrities, which gradually developed the brand’s popularity.
Shaq brand products can be treated in different ways. O’Neal is also often spurred on by co-workers on the set. However, he himself claims that during production, he has sold over 150 million pairs of affordable sneakers for low-income children.
Turning Down a Deal With Reebok
Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal also revealed why he once turned down a major $40 million deal with Reebok. According to him, he had a $40 million contract with Reebok for five years. Once he was leaving the arena after one of the matches he met a lady. He told the center that they were taking all the money from the kids for sneakers.
Shaq then continued to rummage through pockets, found two thousand dollars and handed her to somehow calm her down. But she just slapped his hand and didn’t take anything.
“I thought about it for a long time and decided that she was right. On the same day, I stopped working with the company. I told them, “Keep the money. It is not right. Let’s settle everything peacefully. I will play in your sneakers during the season and walk in them, but I will start my own business”.
Reebok sales have been falling steadily since 1995, according to The New York Times. In 1998, the manufacturer’s profit dropped to a modest $23.9 million with a turnover of over $3 billion. All of this looked even worse, as the group’s failures occurred against the backdrop of a growing sportswear market. The company was inferior in sales not only to Nike but also to Adidas. Experts believed that signing Shaq in 1992 was a reckless attempt to keep up with Nike.
The talented center was considered the main contender for the first pick of the NBA draft and was looking for opportunities to immediately cash out and make the most of his time in the sun. Despite the notion, confirmed by the failures of Abdul-Jabbar and Ewing, that big guys don’t know how to sell sneakers, sportswear manufacturers saw Shaq as a truly attractive asset. The main contenders for signing a contract with the athlete then were two: the industry leader Nike, who at that time was still the industry leader, and Reebok, who was eager to break into the sports footwear market.
Coincidentally, immediately after the announcement of the termination of cooperation between Reebok and O’Neal, center agent Leonard Armato assured that Shaquille was already working on another shoe deal that would open the basketball player’s business in a “completely different direction.”
This is how the Shaq brand shoes were born. The sneakers were on display at Walmart hypermarkets and cost between $19 and $29 per pair.
A Beautiful Story
Everything in this story is beautiful. 2 thousand dollars, which in the original version years ago sounded only like 200 dollars. The contract is for 40 million, although most of the media, including Forbes and The New York Times, estimated the amount prescribed in the agreement in the range of 15-20 million, and the basketball player himself used to call the figure 5 million a year. And, of course, O’Neal’s unilateral decision to terminate the contract with the concern, which is not at all connected with the constantly falling profits of Reebok and the desire of the manufacturer to change the model of behaviour in the market.
In general, the former athlete with this everyday statement himself pushed us to remember the long history of the relationship between him and Reebok. Shaq is definitely an epitome of a person who is constantly developing and showing others good examples.