Aside from a very successful basketball career that included four championship wins, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is just as known for his very lucrative business dealings.
Over the years, the 49-year-old has garnered endorsement deals from brands such as The General, Gold Bond, Icy Hot and Buick, just to name a few. However, being the face of brands isn’t the only thing Shaq has done in his career — because what’s a businessman if you don’t own a few businesses.
During a recent appearance on the live taping of the financial literacy podcast “Earn Your Leisure” with financial advisor Rashad Bilal and educator Troy Millings, Shaq revealed some head-turning details about his financial profile — that had fans in the audience in shock, but equally as impressed.
“I don’t’ like to seem like I’m bragging, but I’m going to ask you a question. Who owns Marilyn Monroe,” the former basketball star asked the two hosts. “Playboy,” Millings responded. “Who owns Elvis Presley? Who owns Forever 21?” Shaq continued. “Who owns JCPenney? Me!”
“My real business is I own 50 brands,” Shaq explained. “So, when I was retiring, I’m looking around, I’m like ‘How does Michael Jackson and all these guys live forever?’ So, one of the chapters in the book, joint venture-ship. So, I called the three companies [seemingly 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.” (Note: Shaq did not clarify what percentage of these brands he owed or if they were bought outright.)
The Hall of Famer said he could’ve easily sold his brand and likeness he worked so hard to build, but that would give investors the right to do as they please and potentially push him to the background. “I put money back in the company, and now I own all those other brands, so if Shaq ever goes away, sh-t, we still got Elvis.”
Fans online were stunned. “Shaq really ahead of the game when it comes to business!!” wrote one Instagram user. Another commented, “Shaq don’t want the bag, he want the whole distribution center.”
“One of the wisest investors out there!” expressed a third.
According to NBC Sports, Shaq is worth an estimated $400 million and is the joint owner of several Auntie Annie’s Pretzels restaurants, over 100 car washes, and 40 24-hour fitness centers.