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On Friday, big time investor and former NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal weighed in on the authenticity behind his brand and his investments.
In Dec. 2015, Shaq signed a deal with brand development company Authentic Brands Group in hopes of continuing his legacy, joining the ranks of individuals such as Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson and Julius Erving. The deal could turn profits in the hundreds of millions, providing Shaq with a 51 percent share of the deals that he does for the rest of his life.
When asked about his motivation behind a deal with the company, Shaq didn't hesitate in his response. "[I was] born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. I went to college in Louisiana, where my marketing professor told me that 'big guys don't sell.' I wanted to prove him wrong, and you know I've been proving him wrong ever since," Shaq told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." "I wanted the name of the Shaq brand to live on forever. You know when you speak about the Shaq brand, I want to be known as the ambassador of fun."
On October 24, Shaq announced his new role as a local franchise owner of and the global spokesperson for Krispy Kreme doughnuts. In an interview with CNBC, O'Neal elaborated on his decision to do so, saying, "All the deals that I'm involved with are companies that I've believed in and companies that I've used. I always tell people, if I haven't used your product, I will never take your money." In the past, Shaq has been involved in deals for products such as Icy Hot and Arizona Iced Tea. In 2015, with that same "I must believe in it" mentality, O'Neal refused a deal with Starbucks.
His authenticity extends beyond his endorsements to his investments as well. "My thinking is that you know on the investment side, if it's going to change the world, it'll probably work," Shaq told CNBC when explaining his investments in companies such as Google and products such as Vitaminwater.
An owner of the Sacramento Kings since 2013, Shaq is currently looking into expanding his sports investments beyond the NBA and into soccer and baseball as well.
Correction: The team owned by Shaquille O'Neal is the Sacramento Kings. An earlier version of this story misstated the name.