If you need to know what you need? Just ask Shaq.
He’s got a whole list of products that can fill almost every single need in your life.
The sports world’s ultimate pitchman, Shaquille O’Neal is seemingly in every commercial we see on television these days. Like many athletes of his era, he followed the lead of previous stars like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson to put his name and likeness on as many products as possible, and just like those personalities, he had the usual fare of shoes, clothing lines, and commercials. However, his fame extended even further, including rap albums, comic books, and movie roles.
That reach became as massive as he was when he left Orlando to become a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. His time in Tinsel Town teaming with Kobe Bryant resulted in titles and, eventually, turmoil. All the while, his presence continued to grow throughout his illustrious, Hall of Fame career.
Since his retirement in 2011, he has become a literal and figurative giant in the world of celebrity endorsements, earning more money today than his annual salary during his 17 seasons in the NBA. His current estimated net worth is around $400 million, according to Forbes Magazine.
One of the biggest factors involved is O’Neal’s larger-than-life character and his fun-loving persona. His ability to hold your attention with his antics makes him a perfect ad man.
Here are 3 of Shaq’s Most Entertaining Endorsements:
#1 – Shaq’s First Reebok Shoe Deal
Might as well start at the very beginning here, as it lays the foundation for what we see today. Fresh off being the number-one overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft, the LSU center walked into the League with a host of endorsements before he ever stepped on the pro hardwood. The most prominent of all was his first line of Reebok basketball shoes, appropriately named The SHAQ Attack.
While the base colors of the sneakers were blue, white, and black to match O’Neal’s team colors as a member of the Orlando Magic, there were several variations produced. And of course, the SHAQ line was accompanied by jackets, sweatsuits, and all the over gear that goes along with the culture of court life.
But what lands this early endorsement on the ‘entertaining list’ is the shoe itself. Many retail outlets featured a model of Shaq’s actual shoe displayed in their stores. Fans of all ages were astonished to hold the size-22 sneaker, which was an illustration of his enormity.
#2 – The General Automobile Insurance Company
While a lot of people may be sick of seeing the little man in the green uniform alongside the giant basketballer, the commercials do have appeal. In typical Shaq fashion, he plays up the fact that he’s being accompanied by animation. It allows O’Neal to flash a knowing wink and a nod through the fourth wall at the viewing audience.
Oddly enough, the company has been in business in some incarnation since the early 1960s. They gained recognition in the 2000s for including the cartoon General character in their commercials. However, when Shaq got involved with The General in 2016, it provided an even larger boost to their visibility.
Proving that Shaq has more than just power in the paint, a Forbes article about him cited “exponential growth” while he has been the company’s Brand Ambassador.
#3 – Icy Hot
Like many athletes, Shaq has endorsed a lot of products for your body and its possible ailments. Gold Bond Medicated Powder, for example, is a product that he has graced his presence with over the years.
But there isn’t a single product in your pharmaceutical department more closely associated with O’Neal than Icy Hot. A greasy, burning paint ointment that stinks so good.
For the Big Aristotle, this product is a natural fit. He was known to battle plenty of physical maladies over the years, including a nagging back that saw him benched a lot later in his career. So, in terms of just making sense? Then Shaq is a perfect pitchman.
But once again, it goes much further than that. The four-time NBA’s penchant for having fun never made the pain seem so pleasurable. His common sense approach that we all share the same pain – even legendary Hall of Famers – is done with a mischievous grin and an impish glare.
In these commercials, we get to see the perfect mix of the Shaq that we know and love: An athlete, an endorser, and an overgrown kid. So remember the next time you turn on your TV, to take note of his special presence.
Oh yeah… and all his special offers, too.
Main Photo: Jefferson Graham via Imagn Content Services, LLC