Shaq’s 2015 Investment In Authentic Brands Group Continues To Be Safe Bet After Billion-Dollar Acquisition

In a massive move that will redefine the influence of the athletic apparel industry, Authentic Brands Group, which is led under the guidance of  its CEO Jamie J Salter, has acquired in a historical deal the iconic Champion brand from HanesBrands Inc. The Authentic Branda Group and Hanes Brands Inc deal is valued at a little over a billion dollars and the sale is slated to be completed in June, according to

Nine years ago, four-time NBA Champion and Basketball Hall of Famer, Shaquille O’Neal elected to allow the ABG to profit off of his name and  likeness, as it pertain to endorsement and merchandise, according to AFROTECH. At the time Shaq joined a would join a prestigious group of names, which includes Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Jackson.

The deal made O’Neal the second largest shareholder at the Authentic Brands Group, only behind BlackRock. According to it’s website, Black Rock is an American multinational investment company. Per SEC.Gov, It is the world’s largest asset manager, with $10 trillion in assets under management as of December 31, 2023. Black Rock would be come the largest shareholder in the ABG on August 11, 2019, reported by The Wall Street Journal.

“We’re thrilled to have a true business partner in Shaq,” Nick Woodhouse, ABG president and chief marketing officer, told ESPN in 2015. “Through his bigger-than-life personality, he has turned himself into one of the strongest sports brands in the world.”

“My Authentic Brands deal, I was able to ensure that hopefully I can stay around after I’m no longer on this earth,” O’Neal explained to AFROTECH™. “And I was walking down the street one day and looking at these Elvis cups and Elvis key chains and Marilyn Monroe, and I said to myself, ‘How are these people still making money for their families?’ They’re not even around. So, I found out how that business works, and I contacted two or three of those agencies and asked them if they were interested in partnering with Authentic Brands, and we’ve been doing major things.”

O’Neal added, ““I’m now the second largest shareholder in Authentic Brands Group. …I just always wanted to have the opportunity to live forever like fame.”

In 2022, ABG acquired the shoe company, Reebok, according to License Global, and Ted Baker of Forbes. Last year, Reebok named O’Neal the President of Basketball.

“We are thrilled to be expanding upon our partnership with Shaquille with this historic appointment,” said Reebok CEO Todd Krinsky. “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.”

The company would also announced that they would be appointing Allen Iverson as it’s Vice President of Basketball. After the announcement of Reebok’s appointing Shaq as President of Basketball, O’Neal  shared in a statement, “We’re back, baby! Get ready.”

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