Shaq partners with MAXPRO

Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal Invests in At-Home Fitness Startup MAXPRO

Detroit-based MAXPRO experienced explosive growth in the past 12 months and will continue to expand its vision with new digital fitness experiences and next-gen hardware  

[DETROIT, MICH. — MAY 27, 2021]MAXPRO, the startup making at-home and connected fitness accessible to all, today announced a strategic partnership with basketball Hall of Famer and entertainment icon Shaquille O’Neal, who has invested in the company to reinforce MAXPRO’s mission to help individuals of all fitness levels achieve their goals. 

Founded in 2019, MAXPRO is the first solution that combines the best attributes of all fitness equipment on the market today: portability (can be used virtually anywhere), versatility (all types of workouts), connectivity (a premium digital experience that tracks reps, weight, offers instructor-led classes and more) and power (300 pounds of resistance). The brand’s technology and compact fitness system replaces an entire gym of bulky equipment and costs significantly less than the current leading connected fitness machines on the market. Additionally, MAXPRO features a robust digital experience that includes live fitness classes led by certified instructors, accessible anywhere on the MAXPRO companion app on iOS and Android.

“We’ve hit so many milestones in the past year but having an accomplished investor like Shaquille O’Neal on our team highlights how far we’ve come,” said Nezar Akeel, founder and CEO of MAXPRO. “My initial motivation for starting MAXPRO came to me because I kept missing workouts when I was traveling for business. Without a portable fitness system that I could take anywhere to workout anytime, I decided to invent my own so that I could help anyone get a great workout regardless of where they are.”

“I’m so excited to partner with MAXPRO. They are an amazing company with a great vision and a unique product that I love to use,” said O’Neal. “My whole mission is to motivate, inspire and bring fun to the world, and MAXPRO is focused on the same thing.”

Since the company was founded, MAXPRO has grown from a pre-revenue Kickstarter campaign to a high-growth startup that has sold 10,000+ units worldwide (56 countries, all 50 US states) in 2021, and has earned $10M+ of revenue. Given the current state of the global fitness industry, MAXPRO is poised to continue this growth with expanded hardware and digital offerings. According to RunRepeat, 37% of gym members globally have already cancelled or are considering cancelling their gym memberships permanently, while 47% do not plan to return to the gym upon reopening. This data points to a massive consumer need for MAXPRO’s breed of at-home fitness. 

Authentic Brands Group (ABG), a brand development, marketing, and entertainment company, is a strategic partner of the Shaquille O’Neal brand. 

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MAXPRO aims to help athletes of all ages and fitness levels to assess, plan, and reach their fitness goals by providing them with best-in-class hardware, digital experience and motivation. MAXPRO was founded by former Division One athlete Nezar Akeel in 2019 because he needed a fitness system that had the portability, versatility and connectivity that allowed him to workout anytime, anywhere. MAXPRO’s first product, the MAXPRO SmartConnect, is the world’s first full body portable fitness machine with smartphone connectivity and a digital coaching app. SmartConnect features resistance levels that are adjustable from 10lbs to 300lbs (4.5kg to 135kg) instantly with a simple turn of a dial; while the MAXPRO app features a robust library of preset workouts, coached classes and individual exercises to help any athlete reach their fitness goals. 

About Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal is one of the world’s most successful athlete-turned-businessman, whose accomplishments both on and off the court have translated into a highly sought-after consumer brand. As an entrepreneur, sports analyst, DJ, restaurateur, and brand ambassador, Shaquille O’Neal’s signature “Business of Fun” mantra resonates throughout each of his countless endeavors.

The 15-time NBA All-Star’s unprecedented athletic career spanned nearly two decades and earned him countless awards and honors, including NBA Most Valuable Player, NBA Rookie of the Year, four NBA Championships and a First Ballot NBA Hall of Famer. Currently, O’Neal is an analyst on TNT’s Emmy Award-winning “Inside the NBA.” 

O'Neal, who has a PhD in Leadership and Education, established The Shaquille O’Neal Foundation which provides resources for underserved youth. He also gives back through a number of annual philanthropic programs including Shaq to School, Shaqsgiving, and Shaq a Claus.


Follow Shaquille O’Neal on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Authentic Brands Group

Authentic Brands Group (ABG) is a brand development, marketing and entertainment company, which owns a portfolio of global media, entertainment and lifestyle brands. Headquartered in New York City, ABG elevates and builds the long-term value of more than 30 consumer brands and properties by partnering with best-in-class manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. Its brands have a global retail footprint across the luxury, specialty, department store, mid-tier, mass, and e-commerce channels, and in more than 6,200* freestanding stores and shop-in-shops around the world.  

ABG is committed to transforming brands by delivering compelling product, content, business and immersive experiences. It creates and activates original marketing strategies to drive the success of its brands across all consumer touchpoints, platforms and emerging media. ABG’s portfolio of iconic and world-renowned brands generates more than $14 billion** in annual retail sales and includes Marilyn Monroe®, Elvis Presley®, Muhammad Ali®, Shaquille O'Neal®, Dr. J®, Greg Norman®, Neil Lane®, Thalia®, Sports Illustrated®, Eddie Bauer®*, Spyder®, Volcom®, Airwalk®, Nautica®, Forever 21®, Aéropostale®, Juicy Couture®, Vince Camuto®, Lucky Brand®, Nine West®, Jones New York®, Frederick's of Hollywood®, Adrienne Vittadini®, Tretorn®, Tapout®, Prince®, Vision Street Wear®, Brooks Brothers®, Barneys New York®, Judith Leiber®, Herve Leger®, Frye®, Hickey Freeman®, Hart Schaffner Marx®, Thomasville®, Drexel® and Henredon®. Pending acquisition in June 2021*. 2021E**


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Follow ABG on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.


Media Contact

  • Michael Finn – MAXPRO
  • +1 952.426.8747
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