Shaquille O'Neal's first move as president of Reebok's basketball division is a seismic one. On Tuesday, Reebok announced that they signed LSU women's basketball star Angel Reese as its first major NIL athlete.
Reese's signing — which was first reported by ESPN's Nick DePaula — comes five days after Shaq began his new role with Reebok. The shoe company chose Shaq as its basketball division's president — along with appointing Allen Iverson as vice president — as part of their plan to re-launch its basketball category for the future. Shaq and Iverson will each be leading distinct strategy initiatives and making key directional decisions for Reebok going forward; starting with signing Reese.
BREAKING: Reebok has signed LSU star Angel Reese ? the company?s 1st Basketball athlete of the next generation. ???
?For my 1st appointment in this role, it had to be the GOAT,? says Shaquille O?Neal, President of Reebok Basketball. ?There is no one making a bigger impact on? pic.twitter.com/UhbLgPhaDr
— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) October 17, 2023
When asked why his first move was bringing Reese on board, Shaq said, "For my first appointment in this role, it had to be the GOAT. There is no one making a bigger impact on the game right now than Angel Reese."
Shaq has a point. Reese not only led the LSU women's basketball team to a national championship last season by averaging 23 points and 15.4 rebounds per game — setting an NCAA single-season record for double-doubles in the process — but her unapologetically authentic personality and competitive passion made her beloved by basketball fans across the country.
Not to mention that Shaq was also a star center at LSU before his Hall of Fame NBA career.
Reebok already has big plans in motion for their first NIL athlete. Reese's first order of business will be a curated portal of products on Reebok.com, dubbed "Angel's Picks," highlighted by a limited-edition t-shirt celebrating the signing. Reese and Reebok have also begun work on her own capsule sneaker collection, which is slated to launch in the Fall/Winter 2024 season.
In addition to her personal line, Reese will also provide design input and product feedback on the larger Reebok Basketball re-launch to come in 2025, that will include new performance silhouettes and technologies.
When asked about her Reebok deal and partnership with Shaq, Reese said, "I am honored to be working closely with one of my longtime mentors, Shaq, along with a brand that I have admired since I was just a little kid. It means the world to me that they trust in me to extend their legacy to a new generation."
With this massive Reebok deal done, Reese's focus can shift to going back-to-back with Shaq's alma mater.
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