Shaquille O’Neal’s Authentic Brands Group (ABG) deal continues to pay off.

As AFROTECH™ previously mentioned, O’Neal’s agreement with the brand management company in 2015 allowed the group to profit from his name and likeness in merchandise and endorsements. The Hall of Famer joins its roster of other prominent names such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Jackson.

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

In return for signing onto the deal, O’Neal became ABG’s second-largest shareholder, and to date he credits this as his turning point in business.

“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.”

He 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.”

Among ABG’s latest moves includes its 2022 acquisition of Reebok, per License Global, and Ted Baker, notes Forbes. The companies now join its growing portfolio, which includes Juicy Couture, Izod, and Sports Illustrated.

That list is expected to grow as it was most recently announced ABG has agreed to purchase Champion for $1 billion, Boardroom reports on Instagram.

“Champion agreed to be acquired by ABG last Friday or Monday,” a source aware of the negotiations told WWD on Thursday, April 2, 2024. “They should close around the end of May or early June.”