NEW YORK, NEW YORK (October 12, 2023) – Reebok announced longtime brand partner and legendary hall-of-famer, Shaquille O’Neal, as the President of Reebok Basketball and Allen Iverson as the Vice President of Reebok Basketball. Their appointments come on the heels of Reebok’s announcement earlier this month regarding its long-term strategy to re-emerge into team sport and focus on the brand’s global commitment to performance basketball.
Throughout his epic 19-year career, O’Neal redefined the dominant “big man” role, tearing down backboards and racking up MVP accolades, all while moonlighting as a pop culture icon who would energize basketball subcultures for years to come. Reebok’s signing of Shaq ahead of his rookie season in 1992, which at the time marked the brand’s biggest endorsement deal ever, would evolve into one of the most prolific and impactful athlete-brand partnerships in industry history. In the partnership’s first year, Reebok introduced its first-ever signature shoe, the “Shaq Attaq,” followed by a host of irreverent and disruptive ad campaigns and product lines that set the stage for the brand’s on-court dominance during that era.
Reebok’s groundbreaking deal with Shaq, catapulted the brand’s presence in basketball to winning heights in the ’90s and early 2000s with Reebok bringing on some of the game’s most dominant players and personalities like Iverson and Dee Brown and introducing some of the industry’s all-time top selling basketball silhouettes, including the Shaqnosis, Question, Answer and the legendary Pump.
“We are thrilled to be expanding upon our partnership with Shaquille with this historic appointment. As an athlete, he made an incredible imprint on not only our brand, but the entire sport and culture of basketball,” said Todd Krinsky, Reebok CEO. “With the combination of his deep-rooted history with Reebok and reigning influence he’s made on the game, there is no one better than this guy to take the helm and lead our brand back to reclaiming its rightful place and dominance in basketball.”
As Reebok’s President of Basketball, O’Neal will lead the brand’s basketball category strategy and cultivate partnerships with athletes and organizations in the brand’s quest to return to its position as a dominant force in the sport. In 2021, together with Authentic Brands Group (Authentic) CEO Jamie Salter, and President Nick Woodhouse, O’Neal played a major role in bringing Reebok into the vast portfolio of iconic global brands owned by the company. O’Neal, an Authentic shareholder, is known as an exceptional brand partner for companies including JCPenney, Papa Johns and Carnival.
The footwear category in particular spans across specialty, mid-tier, off-price and mass channels, further highlighting O’Neal’s broad appeal and consumer reach. O’Neal applied this business savvy and strategic foresight in pursuit of Reebok, proving that his ability to win extends well beyond the court. Together with Salter and Woodhouse, they employed a strategy that allowed the brand to stay true to its roots, while tapping into O’Neal’s strategic foresight that will allow Reebok to reemerge as a key player in basketball.
Speaking to his new role, Shaq simply shared, “We’re back, baby! Get ready.”
In Iverson’s expanded role with Reebok, he will help drive player recruitment, grassroots and community-based initiatives, and athlete activations like the Iverson Classic. “AI”, who signed with Reebok ahead of his rookie season in ‘96, is celebrated as one of basketball’s most influential players of all time, on and off court, as his legacy continues to grow and impact future generations. Together, Reebok and Iverson would put forth some of the category’s most disruptive ad campaigns and product lines, like that of their iconic Question and Answer footwear franchises.
In the coming months Reebok and O’Neal will disclose more details on its new strategy in basketball as it looks to return to the court in 2025 and beyond. To shop its current offerings of iconic heritage basketball silhouettes as well as “Shaq for President” t-shirts, visit: https://www.reebok.com/c/600000048/collection-classics-basketball.
TopicsReebok Shaquille O'Neal Allen Iverson Authentic Brands Group Shoes basketball Apparel