Shaquille O’Neal hasn’t played an NBA game since 2011, but the Shaq “brand” is more lucrative than ever. He’s “making more money selling stuff (including sneakers, suits and a jewelry line), endorsing stuff and investing in stuff” than he made in his best year, “in terms of salary”, in the NBA ($30 million). Tonight (March. 27) at 10:30p EST, HBO’s (TWX) Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel examines what makes Shaq more successful than the typical athlete turned entrepreneur story (link to trailer).
Howie Long-Short: O’Neal made $292 million in on-court earnings. Since retirement, his single largest payday occurred in December 2015 when he sold 51% of all future business endeavors (not including his broadcasting contract with Turner Sports or his minority investment in the Sacramento Kings) to Authentic Brands Group; a privately held brand development and licensing company that also counts Greg Norman, Muhammad Ali, Julius Erving, Tapout, Spyder and Prince among its sports brands. Financial terms of that deal were not disclosed, but it’s been estimated Shaq received between $230 million-$270 million for majority interest in his brand. It’s notable that Forbes pegs O’Neal as the 6th highest paid retired athlete; Jordan, Arnold Palmer and David Beckham are 1, 2 and 3.
Fan Marino: Shaq is avid technology enthusiast and regularly attends CES (annual technology showcase in Las Vegas), which is where he first met Jamie Siminoff; the CEO of Ring. A fan of their smart doorbell product, O’Neal sought out the Ring tradeshow booth; asking for the CEO. That meeting led to O’Neal becoming an official endorser of the company and a minority shareholder. Not familiar with Ring? Earlier this year, Amazon acquired the company for $1.1 Billion.
Editor Note: Here’s a video you’ll want to watch. It’s Shaq vs. Rob Gronkowski in a dance-off, at a party O’Neal hosted during Ultra Music Festival in Miami last weekend.
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