Everyone knows who Shaquille O’Neal is. Since his entrance into the NBA in 1992, O’Neal has been a staple not only on the court, but in movies, television, music, and commercials. While he made a healthy living with his basketball skill, he’s made even more off the court.
Shaquille O’Neal’s image
O’Neal’s massive frame isn’t the only thing about him that’s larger than life. His charisma and personality make him a natural for a role that’s bigger than basketball. Right away, he used his NBA superstardom to become more than just an athlete. He’s an entrepreneur, spokesman, and natural entertainer.
O’Neal has never gone with the flow. While most superstar athletes put their names on shoes that cost hundreds of dollars, his shoe and clothing brand has made him a fortune thanks to affordable pricing. This may best sum up Shaq; you’d be hard-pressed to go a day without seeing him on a commercial, but his method goes far deeper.
He’s been candid about his entrance into the world of the rich and famous, noting that when he first entered the NBA and saw his massive checks, he spent one million dollars right away before his financial people told him he would not last if he kept on doing so. Now, in a world where many athletes go broke despite massive paydays, O’Neal is thriving in a way few ever do.
Shaq has done so not only with his brand and personality but with his willingness to think outside of the box and put himself in situations to succeed.
O’Neal, the businessman
Early on, O’Neal learned the value of being smart with his money. When fans see him in commercials next to cartoon generals or selling Icy Hot, they aren’t always watching somebody who simply paid to shill products, they are watching somebody actively invested in them.
O’Neal often takes equity stakes in companies he endorses rather than normal endorsement deals. When he’s investing in companies, he credits Jeff Bezos for helping him adopt the strategy he uses.
“I heard Jeff Bezos say one time [that] he makes his investments based on if it’s going to change people’s lives,” O’Neal said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “Once I started doing that strategy, I think I probably quadrupled what I’m worth.”
From his stakes in Five Guys, Google, and Apple to his part-ownership of the Sacramento Kings, O’Neal is not afraid to take risks with his money and support ideas big and small. This is why he’s one of the richest athletes.
Shaq’s net worth off the court
O’Neal has famously said he didn’t need to touch his NBA earnings while he was playing thanks to his endorsement deals. Now retired, he claims to make more off of the endorsements than he ever did in the NBA. For somebody who made just under $300 million in his career, this is no small feat.
According to Investopedia, O’Neal has endorsed more than 50 products ranging all over the place and earned over $700 million including everything. Now, nearly a decade removed from the NBA spotlight, O’Neal is making a cool $60 million a year and shows no signs of slowing down.
In a world where young athletes are known to be reckless with their money, His net worth is reportedly over $400 million, and O’Neal shows how this can change and what it takes to keep money coming after the paychecks from the teams stop.