Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal always has an eye open for business opportunities. Apart from endorsing elite brands, the $400 million worth superstar also has several uncanny ideas up his sleeves. One of them is through the late boxing legend, Muhammad Ali. Even though Shaq has spoken about Ali’s greatness in the past, the 4x NBA champion found a way to earn off the Louisville Lip’s death in 2016.
Muhammad Ali emerged as one of the greatest personalities in the world for his fearless participation in the civil rights movement. Ali has influenced a lot of sports personalities across the globe, but Shaq’s love for the legend stands out. The big man once said, “He will definitely be missed, never forgotten,” reported Sports Illustrated.
Shaquille O’Neal bags dollars because of Muhammad Ali even after his demise
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Some iconic personalities may have left the earth, but their names and achievements stay embedded in the pages of history. One such legend is the boxing icon, Muhammad Ali. On the other hand, Shaquille O’Neal not only cherished Ali’s greatness, but he also managed to get richer with the legend’s name after his demise.
Shaq bought shares in a company called Authentic Brands Group, which buys royalty rights for personal brand names. The Lakers legend’s trust grew in this company and eventually became the second-highest shareholder. Subsequently, the 4x NBA Champion owned the royalties for Muhammad Ali’s name. Apart from Ali, he also owns rights for Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Michael Jackson.
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Moreover, he also revealed his reason behind this business in a recent episode of Impaulsive Podcast. He said, “I wanna still be relevant, I wanna still be looked at, you know, like Muhammad Ali, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson those names live forever.”
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Shaq always has a reason behind every business prospect. He also had a particular reason to quit his partnership with Reebok and join hands with Walmart in the 90s.
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Why did Shaq leave Reebok?
Just like every other NBA star, Shaq signed up a massive deal with the marketable sports brand, Reebok. However, it didn’t last long as he walked out of the contract after a small interaction with a young mother.
During his initial years in the league, a lady expressed her concern about stars endorsing expensive products. Subsequently, that rang a bell in Shaq’s head. He immediately withdrew his contract with Reebok and signed up with Walmart with his own shoe brand at an affordable price. Notably, Shaq sold around 400 million pairs of shoes recently.