Shaq’s Big & Tall Model Search Winners Announced, Featured in JCPenney Marketing

Shaq is back and bigger than ever at JCPenney, personally selecting big and tall men to model his line of Shaquille O’Neal XLG apparel.

More than 15,000 men entered Shaquille O’Neal’s Big & Tall Model Search, a collaboration between JCPenney, Wilhelmina Models and the basketball legend himself, who serves as the Company’s big and tall style ambassador. Earlier this month, three men were deemed big enough for the job – Chukwukere “A.K.” Ekeh, Ricardo “Ricky” Vichot and Jordan Alexander “Alex” Cochran. Each winner was signed to Wilhelmina’s Titan division of big and tall male models and will make appearances alongside Shaq in the JCPenney fall marketing campaign wearing Shaq’s namesake collection and JCPenney’s popular big & tall private brand, The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co.

The winners of Shaquille O’Neal’s Big & Tall Model Search appear alongside the Shaq in front of media and other guests at New York City’s STK Downtown, a steakhouse in the city’s Meatpacking District.
(L to R: Ricardo “Ricky” Vichot, Jordan Alexander “Alex” Cochran and Chukwukere “A.K.” Ekeh)

According to market research firm NPD Group, one-third of American men identify as either big, tall or big and tall, but there’s still a lack of representation for them in the fashion industry. Thanks to Shaq, JCPenney and Wilhelmina, three new big & tall models will be featured in upcoming marketing materials for Shaquille O’Neal XLG, which features modern fits, classic fabrics and a versatile collection for the big and tall customer. As Shaq recently told Women’s Wear Daily, “When I started working with JCPenney, I said I only want to give people great stuff at an affordable price. I’m a big guy, but I don’t want to look like a big guy. I want to look like a sexy Tom Cruise-looking guy.”

Shaq shows off the latest styles from his namesake brand, Shaquille O’Neal XLG, available exclusively at JCPenney. 

This fall, Shaq will star in a series of humorous videos that depict his efforts to be an outstanding JCPenney associate since graduating from intern status last season. The big and tall model winners will appear alongside Shaq in these entertaining spots, as well as print and social marketing for Shaquille O’Neal XLG.