Shaq Bought Reebok - Genius or Mistake?

Shaquille O'Neal originally aspired to be the owner of the Reebok corporation. Shaq. The former NBA player is one step closer to his ambition after learning that his company was sold to Authentic Brands Group (ABG).

Having sold the firm, the rights to his name brand, O'Neal has owned shares in ABG since 2015. Adidas agreed to sell the Reebok name to the firm that has acquired dozens of other brands and retailers, including Forever 21, Barneys New York, and J.C. Penney. The 2.1 billion euro ($2.5 billion) all-cash deal will conclude in the first quarter of 2022, according to current currency rates. "It's a dream come true for me as a longstanding Reebok partner and owner of ABG," O'Neal said in a statement. 

Adidas paid $3.8 billion buying Reebok in 2006 and put forth a recovery strategy in 2016 for the company. Adidas stated in December 2020 that it will sell Reebok due to a drop in sales over time.

When Shaquille O'Neal inked a multiyear, $15 million agreement with Reebok in 1992, the two had a long relationship together. He developed a line of footwear, including the well-known Reebok Shaq Attaq, as a result of this collaboration.

O'Neal has made it clear through his affiliation with ABG that he wants to buy Reebok.

O'Neal stated in June 2019 that Adidas had "diluted [the brand] so much to where it's nearly gone," amid reports that the company planned to sell the Reebok brand.

At a Carnival Cruise event, O'Neal told CNBC, "If they don't want it, let me have it." In the words of Kobe Bryant, "I want to bring Reebok back to basketball and fitness."


President and CMO Nick Woodhouse of ABG says that O'Neal played a critical role in completing the acquisition of ABG. Most talks started out with, 'Have you purchased Reebok yet?' in Woodhouse's recent weekly business conversations with the former athlete.

According to Woodhouse, Shaquille is "very active" in both his personal business and his commercial dealings with the team. "Also, for him, it's a great feeling. [Reebok] is the firm that aided in his rise to popularity and taught him how to be a businessman with his athletic skill."

O'Neal now owns a small portion of Reebok, as well as the other 30+ companies in the ABG portfolio, such as Juicy Couture, Brooks Brothers, and Barneys New York, which are now part of the ABG umbrella.


Woodhouse stated that the team intends to collaborate with O'Neal to give a new generation of customers more vintage designs from his Reebok collection.


ABG was unable to provide an update on which business will be granted a license to produce Reebok footwear and clothing, but Woodhouse confirmed that there was some interest.


What Reebok needs to do:

In my eyes I have a few different steps, one I’m taking a little bit of notes from the 22 immutable laws of marketing pretty good short read definitely check it out. A very specific law is the law of opposites. Who's the leader in your market and situate yourself or position yourself opposite of that leader. So for reebok who do you think is the leader in sports fashion clothing who is the leader of that market? In my opinion it's probably Nike.  Nike is doing some great things and  the owner of the Air Jordan brand. I’m going to buy me some Nikes is a common phrase. To gain market share, Reebok must evaluate what Nike is doing and situate itself opposite.


What Is the Persona of Reebok?

Nike, because they have really good endorsement deals you can see the Nike person.  Nike feels spirited, it feels like a champion, it feels like people willing to do the work needed. It allows you to push yourself, Nike “just do it”. Reebok needs to strengthen its brand identity and persona in order to truly compete.


Share you thoughts in the comments below. Do you prefer Nike or Reebok and why?

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