Shaquille O’Neal is widely considered to be one of the most dominant NBA players of all time. The Lakers legend, managed to win 4 championships alongside many personal accolades and he has proved equally successful outside the basketball court as well.
What businesses does Shaq own? Shaqs investment portfolio is extensive and diverse and holds 50 different businesses. His associations include brands such as Lyft, Ring and Vitaminwater. Shaq owns 150 car washes, 40 24-hour fitness centers, a shopping center, a movie theater, and several Las Vegas nightclubs.
Shaq owns part of The General, Gold Bond, Icy Hot, Buick, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Forever 21, JCPenney, Auntie Annie’s Pretzels. He also works as a DJ under the name DJ Diesel, was once a minority owner in the NBA’s Sacremento Kings, works as a presenter for TNT and in early 2021 launched an Agency named Majority.
Here is a list of businesses that Shaq owns, partially owns or has franchise interests in;
- Authentic Brands Group (ABG)
- Reebok (named President of Basketball in 2023)
- Big Chicken
- Papa John’s
- Forever 21
- JC Penney
- Elvis Presley
- The General
- Marilyn Monroe
- NRG eSports (investor)
- Google (investor)
- Apple (investor)
- Pepsi (investor)
- Lyft (investor)
- Krispy Kreme Donuts (franchises)
- Five Guys Burgers (franchises)
- 24-Hour Fitness (franchises)
- Aunty Annie’s Pretzels (franchises)
- CityPlex12 Movie Theatre
- Shaquille (his own restaurant)
Shaq proved to be a successful businessman and has effectively managed to take care of his franchises, esnuring his personal involvement serves to boost their value. We will have a deeper look at Shaq’s business activities and what he primarily does.
Shaq retired from the NBA with a big nest egg
When Shaq retired from the NBA he had earnt over $292 million in salary alone. In addition he hauled in another estimated $220 million from endorsement deals and investments during his time pumelling fools in the paint. Shaq has protected and grown this nest egg shrewdly. He chooses sponsors and investments very carefully. He said in many interviews that he will never advertise or invest in a company whose products he is not ready to use himself. “If I don’t like something, people will notice it anyway,” explains O’Neal. For this reason, Shaq turned down his contract with Starbucks – in a meeting with CEO Howard Schultz, he said that “black people don’t drink coffee.
Despite his large incomes, O’Neal is oriented towards the middle class. He has a line of jewelry and business suits, of course, but more often than not, O’Neal advertises products that are available to everyone.
he gained some early investment success when his agent introduced him to Silicon Valley “super angel” Ron Conway in 2004 while he was still at the peak of his on court powers. This meeting led to Shaq investing in Google (heard of them?) before the tech giant went public. Like everyone, Shaq would later claim that his only regret was that he wished he would have bought more shares.
Shaq is a Great Manager
After finishing his career as a professional athlete, Shaquille O’Neal created a business empire, earning money from original projects. The Shaq Summit, an annual meeting of representatives from various companies that make up O’Neal’s holding.
But it was not at all easy for the former center to find time for this. He was supposed to star in an advertisement for headphones, tomorrow – to praise a miracle cure, the day after tomorrow – to participate in the presentation of costumes, jewelry and sneakers of his own brand. And all this should not hinder a career as a TV analyst at TNT in the NBA Insider program, which is his main place of work since the end of his playing career in 2011.
Shaq mastered the art of capitalizing on his enormous size and flamboyant personality in his early years in the NBA. Now more and more players are taking the path of creating and developing their own brands. And the example of his activities, which hit the cover of the business magazine Bloomberg Businessweek, serves as a kind of guidebook for them, which was not there before.
Shaq wants to be personally involved in everything. The formula for the success of a product from him is quite simple and is voiced by him: “Make people laugh and they will remember you.”
The 15-time NBA All-Star participant recalls that as a child he planned to become a big businessman. His father gave him a book about the problems athletes face when managing their assets and he took it’s lessons to heart.
During the 2013/14 NBA regular season, O’Neal appeared on television 212 times. This plays a huge role in the growth of popularity and development of the player’s brands and he isn’t scared to use this as a way to boost his investments profile.
An important element of the marketing policy of Shaq’s firms is the emphasis on its sheer size. However, the publishing house, which is part of the holding of the former NBA star, went the other way.
O’Neal’s main task is to maintain his own popularity, which is a big problem for retired athletes, as they cease to be the center of public attention. A significant part of the target audience of Shaq’s business projects are teenagers and children, and many of them now no longer know what a great player he was. There is always room for progress in the art of being Shaq.
Shaq Constantly Motivates His Children
In October, 2021 Shaq spoke at the conference and answered the question of how he motivates his children to work hard. Basically, we can note that he teaches his young children to earn money by themselves, and while his father is a rich person does not mean that it means everything. The 4-time NBA champion has six children.
O’Neal has earned over $ 292 million in his NBA career. He also runs his own business, doing projects in various fields.
Shaq is the 2nd largest shareholder in Authentic Brand Group (ABG)
O’Neal has owned shares in Authentic Brand Group since 2015, when the company bought the rights to his name brand. On the day a deal was to be signed selling ABG 50% of Shaqs name brand proceeds, The Big Aristotle had an idea. Shaq decided to invest all of the money he was going to receive from ABG back into the company and in doing so became the second-largest shareholder of ABG. The way both Jamie Salter (ABG CEO) and Shaq tell it, this was a deal based on trust where both partners took bets on one another. O’Neal has said that he was initially attracted to Authentic because the operation centered around fun, family values and getting things done.
ABG has a portfolio of more than 30 brands and a history of buying up struggling legacy brands such as Juicy Couture, Forever 21, and Brooks Brothers. With Shaq on board a big push into sports culture, particularly Basketball was to be expected.
In August 2021 Authentic completed the purcahse of former sports wear giant Reebok from Addias for $2.1 billion.
Shaq is an owner of Reebok and President of Reebok Basketball
In October 2023 it was announced that Shquille O’neal was being made the President of Reebok Basketball with 2001 NBA Finals oppononent Allen Iverson as his Vice President.
The two legendary NBA stars both had huge shoe deals with Reebok in the 90’s. Shaq signing in 1992 and Iverson in 1996.
“This is not a consulting role. This is not a figurehead announcement where we create a cool title and then he goes away and calls me once a while. He’s committed to how we re enter the basketball community, everything from product to marketing to events. He’s got a sharp point of view on things, but he’s also very collaborative and he’s open minded on how we can re enter.”Reebok CEO Todd Krinsky on Shaq being appointed President of Reebok Basketball
Shaq signed with Reebok in 1992 and wore iconic signature shoes, such as the Shaq Attaq and Shaqnosis, while Allen Iverson signed with Reebok in 1996 and is responsible for huge cultural and stylistic shifts in main stream Basketball culture. Not least with his flagship Reebok shoes “The Answer”, taking his nickname and creating one of the most iconic shoes in history. The company looks set to be capitalising on this legacy as they look to re-enter basketball with big key NBA player signings, new technolgy, legacy branding and the perfect blend of fashion and performance.
Shaq is a Face of Papa John’s
In 2019 Shaq joined the company as a board member and investor. Within three years, it was announced that O’Neal would receive $8.5 million. The basketball player granted the company the right and license to use his name, pseudonym, voice and photographs for promotion in any advertising campaigns in exchange for an amount of $8.5 million (he wished to receive half of it in cash). Shaquille O’Neal also joined the company as a board member and investor, investing $840,000 in nine restaurants across the state of Atlanta.
After the news about Papa John’s partnership with the basketball player was released, the shares of the network increased by 5%. Shaq also owns Big Chicken fast food in Las Vegas, several cafeterias of the Krispy Kreme franchise in Atlanta and his own restaurant Shaquille. In addition, he advertised brands such as Burger King, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Pepsi and Oreo.
Shaq is an Example For Others
Few people had imagined that Shaq would have achieved such things after his career, but in addition to being a great player, he is an excellent example of how to invest money properly. Shaq constantly expands his reach and he is deservedly one of the most successful athletes in the history of the NBA – both inside and outside of the court.
Shaq has spoken about his business portfolio
Shaq is wary of being seen to boast about his wealth, a lesson he credits to his mother. However in a recent interview with Earn Your Leisure he elaborated on what his strategy is and how he has amassed so much wealth. “I don’t like to seem like I’m bragging, but I’m going to ask you a question. Who owns Marilyn Monroe? Who owns Elvis Presley? Who owns Forever 21? Who owns JCPenney? Me!” – He went on to explain.
“My real business is I own 50 brands, so, when I was retiring, I’m looking around, I’m like ‘How does Michael Jackson and all these guys live forever?’ (meaning in the public domain) So, one of the chapters in the book, joint venture-ship. So, I called the three companies (Authentic Brand Group, Simon Property Group, and Brookfield Property Partners) that helped people live forever, and they bought my brand for a lot of money. So, I took half that money, put it back in the company, now I’m the number two guy in the company.” The Big Aristotle explained that he could sold his brand and likeness to them and not re-invested the proceeds in the company. That would however give investors the right to move in different directions without his authorisation or direct involvement. In ensuring he was a majority stake holder in the company, he guarenteed that he would remain in control of his image rights.
What new businesses has Shaq been involved in recently?
Early in 2021 Shaq was involved when Beachbody and Myx Fitness merged with Forest Road Acquisition. The new company had a value of $3billion after the merger. Shaq was listed as a strategic advisor, but you can be sure he owns a slice and will use his considerable public profile to push it’s value even higher.
Shaq also co-founded Majority, an ad agency focused on diversity, with CEO Omid Farhang, former chief creative at Momentum Worldwide.
“Most agencies still struggle to meet a 25% diversity target, we want to flip that diversity ratio to turn the minority into the majority.”
It is said that he is taking an active role in the new business.
This is all evidence that Shaq is staying true to his roots, with high tech fitness kit and ensuring diversity is the focus of his businesses. He has also developed a line of basketball shoes, which we covered in more detail here. These shoes were developed alongsiode Walmart, with the goal of being affordable to everyone who needed them, without losing quality or style.
He is rumoured to have sold his stake in the “5 Guys” burger chain.
Is Shaq a Billionaire?
No. Shaq is worth around $500million. He is estimated to earn around $70million a year, and growing as of 2023.
What is Shaq Life?
Shaq Life is a reality TV show made in conjuction with Shaquille O’neal and TNT. The show is narrated by Samual L Jackson (yep that SLJ) and focuses on, well the life of Shaq.
“Get to know Shaq as he explores his passions off the court. It’s time for fans to meet the man behind the legend—a man with a legendary sense of humor, an enormous heart and endless determination. Shaq is the ultimate renaissance man.”