"I make investments, not for the monetary reasons, but... if it's going to change people's lives — and if I see people enjoy doing it."
NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal recently blew the internet away with a small sneak peek of his extensive financial portfolio. The 49-year-old revealed during a recent appearance on the financial literacy podcast Earn Your Leisure with financial advisor Rashad Bilal and educator Troy Millings that his business dealings involve a lot more than making commercials. O'Neal — who following a very successful basketball career made a name for himself by bagging a seemingly endless list of endorsement deals from brands such as The General, Gold Bond, Icy Hot, Buick, etc. — shared that he owns quite a few notable businesses of his own.
This is what growth looks like https://t.co/2xtdAyZW48— Martin Malzahn (@MartinMalzahn) July 10, 2021
"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, reports Atlanta Black Star. "Playboy," Millings responded. "Who owns Elvis Presley? Who owns Forever 21?" O'Neal continued. "Who owns JCPenney? Me!" Although the father of five and stepfather of one did not clarify what percentage of these brands he owned or whether he'd bought outright, he went on to explain that owning brands is his main business.
What do Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, JCPenney‘s & Forever 21 all have in common???@SHAQ owns it!!!— DonJuan Carter-Woodard (@CarterDonjuan) July 10, 2021
"My real business is I own 50 brands," O'Neal 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." The Hall of Famer added that although he could've easily sold his brand and likeness that he worked so hard to build, 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," he said. According to NBC Sports, O'Neal's estimated net worth is said to be $400 million. "He is the joint owner of 155 Five Guys Burgers restaurants, 17 Auntie Annie's Pretzels restaurants, 150 car washes, 40 24-hour fitness centers, a shopping center, a movie theater, and several Las Vegas nightclubs," the report states.
Nobody:@SHAQ :— Negro_Papi410 (@3rdLegMontana) July 7, 2021
Who Owns Marilyn Monroe???
Who Owns Elvis Presley???
Who Owns Forever 21???
Who Owns JCPenny???
Speaking to Front Office Sports, O'Neal explained that money is not his main motivation when it comes to making investments. "I make investments, not for the monetary reasons, but... if it's going to change people's lives — and if I see people enjoy doing it," he said. The basketball star-turned-businessman added that he intends to keep his total earnings private since his "mom really doesn't like articles like that. It feels like bragging." He did, however, talk about one venture that he's excited about: esports.
.@SHAQ is a business legend. Really grateful for the opportunity to interview him and write this story.— Callie Lawson-Freeman (@byCallieJames) July 9, 2021
My latest for @FOS ⬇️ https://t.co/Ni5TyidWLY
"One day I had the children and my boys said, 'Dad, take us to the Staples Center!'" O'Neal recalled. "As soon as I turn the corner, it's screaming kids, watching some other kids play video games. I never even heard of esports. But 60,000 kids jumping up and down, louder than a basketball game, I knew that this right here, it was going to be the future. I knew it then, I know it now: esports is still one of the fastest-growing industries and it just appeals to so many people."