Shaq Stands Big & Tall, Front & Center In JCPenny ‘Penney Parade’ Campaign
Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at 02:56PM
NYSportsJournalism.com in Ad Campaigns, JCPenney, Shaquille O/Neal, Tuskegee University Marching Crimson Pipers, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

May 8, 2018: No one has ever accused Shaquille O’Neal of being shy, and his role in a new campaign from JCPenney will not change that image.

Inn March, O’Neal signed as exclusive style ambassador for the men’s big and tall departments for the national retailer.

He will also create a big and tall menswear line and furnishings under the Shaquille O’Neal XLG brand, in association with Authentic Brands Group, a brand development, marketing, and entertainment firm that represents O'Neal. 

In his first effort under the deal, Shaq literally leads a parade to support JCPenney’s offerings for big and tall men — of which Shaq is front-and-center at 7’1”, 320-plus lbs.

“Big and tall and better than ever,” he shouts in the lead spot, “Penney Parade,” with musical accompaniment from the Tuskegee University Marching Crimson Pipers (Montgomery, Al.).

“Finally a shirt I can flex in,” Shaq says, jumping among floats filled with other big and tall men wearing such brands as Stafford and The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co. “Go big or go home.”

Shaq then becomes a DJ for a post-parade parting, encouraging people to "Go big at JCPenney,” with sizes up to 6XL and 5XLT.

The spot breaks this week during NBA playoff programming on ESPN and the NBA on TNT, the latter of which is home to Inside the NBA, where O’Neal is a commentator alongside Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley.

Support includes Internet, social media and POP.

Lead agency for Plano, Texas-based JCPenney is Badger & Winters, NY, which won the account in January (taking over from McGarryBowen).

Shaq’s line of clothing and furnishings will launch in select JCPenney stores and online on JCPenney.com.

Like the rest of the retail, category, JCPenney has dealing with down-sizing to re-imagine a stronger brand. The company operates about 875 department stores after closing some 140 locations in 2017.

JCPenney posted a stronger outlook for 2018 based on Q1 and Fiscal Year 2017 financials released in February.

"In 2018, we will intensify our market share efforts in appliances, mattresses and furniture, while continuing to take steps to modernize our apparel assortment and omni-channel,” Marvin R. Ellison, chairman and CEO, said in a statement when the financial report was released.

“Our strategy and plan is clear and consistent, and we remain focused on two critical factor: To operate the business for growth and deliver profitable earnings.”
 
O’Neal, who signed as Chief Fun Officer for Carnival Cruise Line earlier this year, will appear on-screen in the Kyrie Irving-fronted movie, Uncle Drew, due to hit theaters June 29.

The film also stars such current and former NBA nd WNBA players as Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, Chris Webber and Lisa Leslie.

Shaq’s endorsements also  include Gold Bond, Icy Hot, Wix, Zales, Nabisco’s Oreos, Krispy Kreme (also an investor) and The General insuance (including a new campaign for Uncle Drew in which Shaq in is his "Big Fella" character).

He appears in marketing for Ring doorbell video security, in which he has an equity stake that earned him a solid payday when the company was acquired by Amazon for $1.1 billion in February.

Shaq Plans To Have Fun Cruisin' With Carnival

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