Shaquille O’Neal was one of the most dominant players in NBA history.
During his run with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat, The Diesel was able to win four NBA Finals and rake in hundreds of millions in salary. In fact, in 2004 alone, Shaq earned $27.7 million and was the highest paid player in basketball.
Even with his salary and endorsements that raked him in the big bucks during his playing career, O’Neil is actually making more money in his post-NBA days.
Shaq’s been able to build a business empire consisting of restaurant franchises, car washes, fitness gyms, his own line of branded products and has forged partnerships with Carnival Cruise Line and Papa John’s, among others. His next move? According to the big man himself, he wants to buy Reebok.
During an interview with CNBC Make It, Shaq said he believes the acquisition is very possible. “Well, [Authentic Brands Group, one of the companies] I’m involved in, we just bought Sports Illustrated, but I would love to purchase Reebok,” he told the website at a Carnival Cruise event on Tuesday (June 18).
O’Neal has a long history with Reebok. He first signed a multi-year deal with the footwear and apparel company back in 1992 for $15 million. According to Shaq, he wants to buy Reebok to “bring them back to basketball and to fitness.” In March, according to Fast Company, Reebok announced its classic sneakers from the 1980s and 1990s are making a comeback among millennials.
In 2015, Shaquille O’Neal sold Authentic Brands Group the rights to his future business endeavors for an undisclosed amount. Under the deal, O’Neal became a business partner in the private company, which has a portfolio that encompases more than 50 customer brands and celebrity licenses, including those of Michael Jackson, Muhammad Ali, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe.
While Shaq may not have the funds to buy Reebok himself (it was reported in 2016 that he was worth $400 million), ABG’s total brand portfolio, not including licensing, generates nearly $8 billion in retail sales a year.
It isn’t clear how much Reebok is worth today. Adidas bought the shoemaker for $3.8 billion back in 2005. In today’s dollars, it’s hard to know the value of the company without a clear look at their growth over the past 15 years.
Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Carnival Cruise Line