NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal used to wear a different pair of sneakers to every game and hand them out to fans in the stadium.
Shaquille O’Neal is a Hall of Famer who played in the NBA for 19 seasons and won four championships. Shaq had several endorsement deals, including shoe deals. In the early 1990s, he signed a shoe deal with Reebok and later designed a children’s shoe called the Dunkman that families could afford.
In many NBA games, O’Neal wore his signature shoe, which he designed. The shoes in question were created for families who could not afford the high market prices.
On this day in 1998, #Reebok officially announced that @SHAQ and the brand had mutually agreed to end their partnership after 6 years and several signature shoe franchises. What is your favorite Reebok x Shaq shoe? pic.twitter.com/XFZY9VuOLI
— Rares (@raresapp) June 30, 2021
Instead, the Shaq Dunkman shoe was designed to retail for $39.99 or less at the Payless Shoe store. Shaq wore these shoes as a Laker and continued to do so throughout his NBA career.
Shaquille O’Neal’s shoes continued to sell and were eventually purchased by Walmart and other retailers.
Shaq gave up millions of dollars to avoid signing with a shoe company after his contract with Reebok expired, and he experimented with various shoe designs which he later wore in the NBA.
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Shaquille O’Neal once wore different pairs of shoes to every game in his freshman year
Basketball shoes were a must-have item for kids, basketball players, and even celebrities in the 1980s and 1990s.
Basketball shoes cost $100+ for the most popular shoes on the market as seen by superstar basketball players in the league and endorsed by sneaker companies in a billion dollar industry.
Shaquille O’Neal signed a 5-year, $15 million contract with Reebok in his first year in 1992. O’Neal developed his own shoe line, the Shaq Reebok Offensive Line. The Shaq Attack 1–4 shoes were released in the 1990s.
Shaq used to wear a different pair of shoes to every NBA game during his rookie year. O’Neal admits he wore different pairs just because he could. He also took off his shoes and gave them to fans who came to support him.
O’Neal recognized a market opportunity in the sneaker industry and grabbed it with both hands.
The NBA Hall of Famer has sold more than 120 million units of his brand, expanding the small chunk of the billion-dollar industry he has carved out for himself.
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