Shaquille O’Neal, a retired NBA champion turned sports commentator, says that he is very interested in buying out Reebok. Shaq was drafted by the Orlando Magic in 1992, and has since made more than $300 million from his NBA salary and various endorsement deals.
As a long-time serial entrepreneur, Shaq has invested in several franchises and reportedly owns 155 Five Guys restaurants, 17 Auntie Anne’s, 9 Papa John’s, 40 24-hour fitness gyms, and 150 car washes. According to CNBC, he has also profited quite a bit from early investments in Google and Apple.
During a recent interview after candidly mentioning that he is a part of the investment group that just purchased Sports Illustrated, he also told CNBC that he would love to purchase Reebook.
Shaq signed his first shoe deal with Reebok in 1992, which was worth $15 million. He says though that Adidas, who currently owns Reebok, has “diluted [the brand] so much to where it’s almost gone.”
“If they don’t want it, let me have it,” Shaq said. “I want to bring them back to basketball and to fitness.”
He added that Reebok struggles to compete with brands like Adidas and Under Armour, and he thinks he knows how to fix the problem.
If Reebok is up for sale, it would be costly – definitely a multi-billion deal even though their exact value today is unknown. But Shaq can easily afford it. According to Forbes, he himself is worth $400 million and his portfolio is worth up to $8 billion.