Shaq knows plenty about what Reebok used to be in the basketball and fashion landscape, and it seems that he’s ready to help the brand return to its former glory. The retired NBA superstar has plenty on his plate with a budding music career and a gig on Inside the NBA, but it seems he’s also interested in helping the brand find itself and regain its foothold in the market.
According to CNBC, O’Neal is actually interested in buying Reebok, which is now owned by its former competitor, Adidas.
“Well, [Authentic Brands Group, one of the companies] I’m involved in, we just bought Sports Illustrated but I would love to purchase Reebok, ” Shaq told CNBC. The key here is that with ABG controlling Shaq’s business interests, there might be enough money out there to actually make it happen.
Shaq has been part of the company before, especially during his playing days. And it’s clear that he’s not happy with how Adidas has handled the brand.
O’Neal, who has a long history with Reebok, first signing a multi-year deal with the shoemaker worth $15 million in 1992, says he wants to buy the company because Adidas — its owner since 2005 — has “diluted [the brand] so much to where it’s almost gone.”
“If they don’t want it, let me have it,” O’Neal says. “I want to bring them back to basketball and to fitness.”
As CNBC noted, a Fast Company report about resurgent sales of retro Reebok shoes seems to indicate that Shaq might be on the same page with where the brand should be headed. He was certainly part of the company during some of its best days, so perhaps there’s mutual interest in bringing him back.