Shaq’s business idea received an “F” from his college professor.
That “idea” is now worth nearly $1 billion.
Here’s the quick story:
1) Shaq was an absolute beast at LSU.
In his 3 years he averaged:
• 21 PPG
• 13 RBG
• 5 BBP
He was the #1 pick in the 1992 NBA draft, but let’s take a step back.
2) How did Shaq end up at LSU?
These were his evaluations:
Illinois = too cold
UNLV = too scary
NC State = big man competition
North Carolina = not hood enough
LSU = felt like home
But the classroom might have felt a little bit distant as well. Here’s what I mean…
3) In marketing, his professor presented a project to the class.
They were supposed to bring him something that they could see being sold in the foreseeable future.
Shaq had the perfect idea.
Shaq’s Dunkman Idea
MJ had Jumpman, so Shaq should have his own brand.
— Shaq shoes
— Shaq socks
— Shaq shirt
— Shaq everything
What the professor did next launched a billion-dollar company…
5) The professor gave Shaq an F.
Big guys don’t sell in the NBA.
“He actually embarrassed me in front of the class.”
6) But Shaq realized the professor wasn’t entirely wrong and had a point.
Players in commercials at the time:
– Larry Bird
– Magic Johnson
– Michael Jordan
Simply put, no big guys.
A little less than 10 years later, it all changed.
7) In 1998, Shaq decided to launch his own “affordable” brand after leaving Reebok.
His own “dunkman” shoes became a reality.
But here’s what’s cool…
More than 200 million pairs have sold since.
8) Shaq turned an “F” project into a company that has done over $1B in sales.
And the professor now has to walk by a Dunkman statue on LSU’s campus.
Shaq is a pretty good investor as well. Check out Shaq’s best investments here.