Shaquille O’Neal rose from a low-income family in Newark, New Jersey’s “Projects” to become one of the NBA’s top stars. Known as “Shaq” or “The Big Aristotle,” he began playing basketball in high school. He assisted his school in winning the state championship. He then transferred to LSU to study business and play basketball for head coach Dale Brown.
Shaq has emerged as the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 1992 NBA draft class by 1992. He was selected first overall by the Orlando Magic and played in the NBA for 19 years. He was more than just an average NBA player; he rose to become one of the league’s finest centers.
Shaq was named Rookie of the Year in 1992-93 and led the Magic to the NBA Finals in 1995. As a free agent, he joined the Los Angeles Lakers. He helped the Los Angeles Lakers win three consecutive NBA titles in 2000, 2001, and 2002. He won his fourth NBA title with the Miami Heat in 2006 and went on to play for the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Boston Celtics before retiring in 2011.
Despite being one of the best players in NBA history, he was nearing the end of his professional career and had his sights set on retirement. During his 19-year NBA career, he amassed fortune through contracts worth $300 million. Thanks to his enterprises and other endorsement deals with firms like Icy Hot, Gold Bond, Buick, Zales, and others, he now earns millions of dollars per year.
Shaquille O’Neal has owned the businesses listed below.
1. Five Guys Burgers
Five Guys Burgers was founded in the 1980s by four Murrell brothers. It is now one of the most well-known businesses in which Shaq is interested. That was one of the NBA legend’s first ventures. He grew to have roughly 155 sites across the United States and a 10% cut of the Murrells’ hamburger with french fries. According to accounts, he would later sell the franchises.
2. Big Chicken
Shaq developed Big Chicken, a restaurant that combines his childhood faves with current trends. Shaq opened his restaurant in Las Vegas after retiring from the NBA in 2018, and it eventually extended to Glendale, California.
CNBC reports that the NBA star has personalized his business. Uncle Jerome, named after Shaq’s uncle, is one of the sandwiches on the Big Chicken menu. Another option named after a former professional basketball player and Shaq’s broadcasting partner on “Inside the NBA” is Charles Barkley.
3. Auntie Annie’s Pretzels restaurants
Auntie Annie’s Pretzels is another firm in which Shaquille O’Neal has a stake. He owns 17 Auntie Annie’s Pretzels franchise locations. Since 2010, he has been a franchisee.
4. Papa John’s
In addition, the NBA legend owns multiple Papa John’s shops in and around Atlanta. Not only that, but he has appeared in several ads for the company. He first purchased nine stores before selling the corporation the right to use his likeness and voice for $8.5 million.
He is also a member of the restaurant franchise’s board of directors and a brand ambassador.’
5. Krispy Kreme
Shaq fell in love with Krispy Kreme Doughnuts while in college and vowed to establish a franchise. When he was about 60 years old, he became a franchise owner. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and its partner Shaq announced in January that development of a new shop on the site of its historic Ponce de Leon location in Atlanta is underway. This comes nearly two years after the original shop, which was erected around six decades ago, was burned down by arson in February 2021.
6. 24-hour fitness centers
Shaquille O’Neal’s business interest is not only limited to the restaurant space. It includes the fitness space. He owns 40 24-hour fitness centers, the most of which are in the Atlanta area. In Las Vegas, he acquired 150 car washes, a retail complex, a movie theater, and several nightclubs. He’s also involved with Lyft, JC Penney, Gold Bond, Icy Hot, The General Insurance, and Forever 21.