After Sacrificing $40,000,000 Just Because an Old Woman Called Him a Motherf****r, Shaquille O’Neal Bought the Same Company That Caused Her Pain

Published 06/02/2023, 8:44 AM EDT

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Shaquille O’Neal is not just a successful athlete and businessman, but also a dedicated philanthropist. It seems like an everyday occurrence when Shaq performs small acts of charity for people on the street. Funding several students to attend college added to the love he gets from people, and launching a shoe company to sell affordable premium shoes was perhaps, the icing on the cake.

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While having a signature shoe is an aspiration for many athletes, the 4x NBA champion was confident that he would turn this dream of his into a reality.

Shaquille O’Neal changes path due to the words of an old woman

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In 1992, Reebok and Shaquille O’Neal reached a lucrative agreement worth $15 million over multiple years. As part of the deal, the big man was granted the opportunity to have his own line of shoes. The series of shoes quickly gained significant popularity and were in high demand, often selling out rapidly in stores.

The company was astonished by the impact Shaq had on his fans, leading the Lakers icon to re-sign a five-year contract worth $40 million. Shaq’s relationship with Reebok, however, took a dramatic turn after an incident involving an elderly woman. One Day after a game Shaq was leaving the arena. He was, however, halted by a furious old woman. She was infuriated with O’Neal’s high-priced signature shoes. She said, “You m****f****** ****, charging these babies all this money for the shoes.”

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The big man answered that he does not set the prices of the shoes and offered her $2000. She smacked his hand and told him “Why don’t you m*****f*** make a shoe that’s affordable?”.

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After that incident, Shaq conceived an idea. He approached Reebok and expressed his decision to continue endorsing the brand, but he no longer desired the $40 million contract and wished to sever their partnership. Shaq had a vision of launching his own line of shoes that would be accessible and affordable for everyone. As a result, he entered into a partnership with his preferred retailer, Walmart, and introduced the ‘Shaq’ shoe line.

READ MORE: $400 Million Worth Shaquille O’Neal Could Have Owned a Shoe Factory in China But Trusted a $2.5 Billion Company to Do the Job For Him

Shaq and ABG eventually purchased Reebok, the same company he signed his first shoe deal with, from Adidas for $2.4 billion. Adidas acquired Reebok in 2006 for $3.8 billion and laid out a turnaround plan for the brand in 2016. Through the years, Reebok’s revenues declined, and in December 2020, Adidas announced it would sell the business. Shaquille O’Neal capitalized on the opportunity and pushed ABG to acquire Reebok.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Having Paid Michael Jordan $256,000,000 in 2022 Alone, Top Company Refused Shaquille O’Neal’s Big Demand Despite Lakers Stardom

 

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Written by:

Abhishek Sharma

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Abhishek is an NBA content writer at EssentiallySports. Abhishek has been a basketball fan for a long time and is interested in the competition among the great players that step onto the court. He supports LeBron James and keenly follows the matchups of the Los Angeles Lakers.
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Edited by:

Jayant Chhabra

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