Shaquille O’Neal has had his share of endorsements over the years — his longest standing deal is his seven-year tenure as the main spokesman for Icy Hot.
But Shaq, at his introduction as a new member of the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, continued to mention Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, a brand that he’s never gotten any money from.
“I’m 7-1, 345 (pounds),” Shaq said. “And I eat a lot of cereal. Frosted Flakes.”
I found Frosted Flakes references made by Shaq at least back to 1998, a day after he told the press that coach George Karl looked “like a woman coach” and was a “crybaby.”
Shaq shook any controversy off by mentioning the cereal.
“I ate too many Frosted Flakes,” Shaq said. “I don’t remember what I said last night.”
In 2004, in a fitness profile, he told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel went out of his way to call Frosted Flakes "the best cereal ever created."
Last year, Shaq was asked on a radio station if he ever took “performance enhancers.
"It’s not my fault I ate my Frosted Flakes when I was little, and you ate Wheaties."
“I’ve told the world before, only thing I had was Frosted Flakes: Super Enhancement Cereal,” Shaq told 790 The Zone in Atlanta. “That’s the only thing I’ve put into my body.”
Shaq even used Frosted Flakes to explain why he and referees didn’t see eye to eye.
“You guys make the rules up, so a foul is a foul,” Shaq once said. “It doesn’t matter if a guy is bigger and stronger. It’s not my fault I ate my Frosted Flakes when I was little, and you ate Wheaties.”
If I’m the director of marketing for Kellogg’s, I’m a little bit torn as to what I should do. Do I continue to watch Shaq mention Frosted Flakes organically or do I actually pay him for an endorsement?
Keep in mind, in the second quarter Kellogg’s reported a 13 percent decline in net cereal sales due to recalls and the continued weakness in the category. Maybe the brand can’t wait until Shaq decides to mention it again and should pay him. Then again, maybe his not getting paid makes this whole thing even cooler.
The last big athlete that was on boxes of Frosted Flakes was Michael Phelps. After the Olympian was pictured smoking marijuana, the company not surprisingly didn't want its product on the shelves and donated two tons of the cereal to a San Francisco food bank.
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