AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Shaquille O’Neal is huge in the world of sports for his numerous on-court accolades, which include four championship rings. However, unlike the average sports star, Shaq has an even longer list of accomplishments outside of sports.
Shaq is almost certainly seen during almost every commercial break while watching him as a co-host on TNT, thanks to his brilliant post-career marketing strategy. Shaq can be seen in commercials for brands such as The General, Gold Bond, Icy Hot, and more.
These are not the only brands/companies that Shaq owns a share in, he recently said in an Earn Your Leisure interview that his real business is owning 50 brands.
O’neal explains during the interview, that early on in his career he learned that he was financially illiterate after receiving his first NBA check and spending a million dollars in a day.
He said after this mishap he chose to self-educate himself by reading books relating to business such as the Dummies Guide to Start your own Business. Shaq added that when he went to LA and met Magic Johnson he told him that “it’s okay to be famous but at some time you have to start owning things.”
During the interview, Shaq said he was also inspired by Jeff Bezos to only invests in things that can change people’s lives, after going to a tech conference and hearing him inform a member of the crowd about how he got rich. Education and inspiration led him to own and invest in plenty of franchises and brands.
Shaq came to a realization while on his way out of the NBA that he wanted his name to live forever such as Michael Jackson’s of the world. This led him to contact three companies that are known for helping people live forever which are the Authentic Brands Group, Simon Property Group, and Brookfield Property Partners. Shaq said the Authentic Brands Group agreed to buy Shaq’s brand for a lot of money, and he took half of that money and invested it right back into the company.
This investment makes Shaq the second in command regarding ownership responsibility for the many brands, retailer acquisitions, and celebrity likenesses that are owned by the Authentic Brands Group.
Shaq not only invests his money into companies but has also spent about $135 million on dead celebrities’ likenesses according to Essentially Sports.com. Shaq owns a list of dead celebrities’ likenesses along with some that are alive today.
Shaq reportedly made $292 million over his 19-season career in the NBA and now his current net worth sits at about $400 million.
According to the Mobile Cuisine website, here is a list of business ventures that Shaquille O’Neal owns a share in or recently sold that helped him gather this fortune.
- Five Guys
Shaq’s first significant investment in a franchise was in this chain, he bought and sold 155 Five Guys restaurants. That amounted to 10% of their company at the time. The Diesel eventually sold his stake in the fast-casual franchise; Five Guys Burgers restaurants have undoubtedly made him wealthy.
- Papa John’s
Shaq owns nine Papa John’s restaurants in and around Atlanta. He has also appeared in Papa John’s commercials and other advertising which is part of the criteria he required. He not only purchased nine franchises, but he also sold the company the right to use his likeness and voice for $8.5 million. Shaq has also served as a board member and brand ambassador for the popular restaurant chain since 2019.
- 24-Hour Fitness Centers
Shaq’s purchase of 40 fitness centers is one of his more low-key franchise investments. Except for the number, we don’t know much.
- Krispy Kreme
Krispy Kreme is known as Shaq’s favorite place to get donuts. His first location was located in Atlanta and was nearly 60 years old. Shaq loves the doughnut he is the official spokesperson that promotes products for the franchise.
- Big Chicken Restaurant
Shaq has now entered the world of franchise ownership with Big Chicken, his fast-food restaurant, which serves chicken sandwiches in extra-large portions. Shaq oversees all aspects of this franchise and currently has ten locations.
- Auntie Anne’s
Shaq was the franchise owner of 17 Auntie Anne’s pretzels restaurants. This Aunt Anne’s investment made him about $300,000. Shaq has recently sold this franchise due to the lack of people not wanting pretzels according to the Earn Your Leisure interview.
- Car Washes
Shaq owns about 150 car washes, so he has a lot to say about them as investments. These are some of the most profitable businesses. Though they may or may not be franchised, they are all the same type of business and treat him well.
Brands owned or invested in by Shaq
- JC Penney
- Gold Bond
- Icy Hot
- The General Insurance
- Forever 21
- Barneys New York
- Sacramento Kings
- CityPlex12 Movie Theater
Celebrities’ likenesses owned by Shaq
- Elvis Pressley
- Marilyn Monroe
- Muhammad Ali
- David Beckham
- Julius Erving
For a full list of Shaq’s brand portfolio, visit the Authentic Brands Group website.