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Social Media A Big Part Of Shaq's Legacy

Shaquille O'Neal
Mitchell Layton | Getty Images
Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal will of course be remembered for his big frame and his gregarious personality, but he will also be remembered for his contributions to the social media space.

So it's not surprising that he became the first sports star to retire on Twitteron Wednesday.

I'm tempted to say that his adoption of Twitter is as big as his contribution on the court.

It's close.

I always laugh when people say that I was one of the first sports guys on Twitter when I joined in March 2009.

Nope.

Shaq joined in November 2008 and I think it's fair to say that, even though Twitter was getting big by that time, Shaq helped legitimize the space.

Sports marketers are always challenged with how close they can get the big stars to fans and Twitter — even though it was virtual — got people closer to their stars on a regular basis than ever before.

Shaq got that. He gave away tickets. He let us into his life. He understood that his marketability was tied to his relationship with the his fans. And he was as funny on the keyboard as he was when he opened his mouth.

Yes, we won't see Shaq on the court again, but the good part is, thanks to Twitter, he can continue to be in the lives of his fans who still want to follow him.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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