Shaquille O’Neal’s frustrations with $5 Billion brand involving Michael Jordan led him to Walmart

Shaquille O’Neal’s frustrations with $5 Billion brand involving Michael Jordan led him to Walmart

Shaquille O’Neal most definitely has a heart of gold and a mind intelligently built for the world of business. Back during his playing days, the Hall of Famer was one of the most recognizable emerging athletes due to his talent coming off of a 7’1 feet tall body. At one point, everybody wanted to be as tall, strong, agile and successful as Shaq. Likewise, they also wanted to have what Shaq had. 


When he first came into the league, Shaquille O’Neal was signed under Reebok. He began relationship with the billion dollar brand began in 1992 during his rookie year. Shaq was extremely successful and wound up winning the Rookie of the Year Award. During this time, he had his signature shoe which was sold in footlocker along with Michael Jordan‘s. 

During an interview with Earn Your Leisure, Shaquille O’Neal revealed that he chose to cut ties with Reebok for two main reasons. Firstly, it was because his shoe line was not made as popular as Jordan’s at the stores they were sold at. So he decided it was best for business that he went to a retailer that was not tied to any famous person, hence Walmart. 

The second reason was because he did not like the fact that children could not afford to buy sneakers. He said, “I know its a lot of kids out there that wanna have something respectable on their feet… and it’s the right thing to do. Cause again I didn’t feel right charging kids $100 (or) $200 off of shoes. First year I felt good about it but then after reality kicked in I was like, ‘This ain’t right.'” 


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The origin of Shaquille O’Neal investing in Walmart to sell his signature shoes 

Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O’Neal IMAGO/AAP

During an episode of the Full Send podcast Shaquille O’Neal was simply very honest about his decision to leave Reebok. It all started when a mother went off on him for his overpriced shoes. He said, “I had $2,000 in my pocket. I said, ‘Lady I don’t make the prices. Here you go, and she smacked the money out of my hand.” She said,”Why don’t you moth*****kers make a shoe that’s affordable?” 

“I was like, ‘You know what, she’s right.’ So that day, I cut ties with Reebok and started my own brand… 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. 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,” he said. 

Shaquille O’Neal was able to slowly launch his own brand into the sky. Nearly 30 years ago the Shaq brand was given birth and they have sold 400 million pairs of shoes according the legend himself. The Big Diesel has a very big heart in general. He always helps people around him and never fails to earn the respect of others.


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