By Stefano Virgilli — As incredible as it sounds, it is possible to spend one million dollars in only 45 minutes. At least that is what the basketball legend, Shaquille O’Neal did when he was first drafted in the NBA. A regular practice among basketball players is to spend millions of dollars, which just in a few years after their retirement immensely leads to bankruptcy.
According to Sports Illustrated, within five years of retirement, a high percentage (60 per cent) of former NBA players are broke.
As the story continues, after spending the first million, Shaquille’s accountant called to give him a warning that if he continues with spending, he would probably join the group of retired athletes that end up broke.
That was the player’s moment of awakening.
The sports legend got back to school, finished his education in the field of business and finance, aiming for the top and completing his Ed.D.
Aside from continuing his education, in his productive 19-year career, The Big Aristotle established quite a network of prosperous businesses, and most importantly, set a valuable example for his former colleagues.
He is an exception of NBA players’ routine of quickly running out of cash after retiring of the only source of income, which leads to disappearance and disappointment.
Just recently known as Dr Shaquille O’Neal, the former basketballer is the joint owner of hundreds of businesses, including restaurants, fitness centres, nightclubs, a shopping centre and a movie theatre, among the others.
He earns $22 million per year from all his businesses and is worth more than $350 million.
Compared to the time when he was in the NBA and earned an estimated $292,198,327, this period of his life seems to be more profitable.
Namely, Shaq’s impressive entrepreneurial skills helped him earn more from his current ventures than from his basketball career.
One may question, what is Shaq’s investment strategy? With a unique entrepreneurial spirit, Shaq bases his decisions on his personal preferences. If he likes the company where has a chance to invest and constantly uses their products, he will most likely be on board.
Many deals have been rejected by his side because Shaq did not use those products or services. For instance, he refused to contract with Wheaties, that wanted to put his face on their cereal box.
Instead, he chose Fruity Pebbles, because these are the cereal he consumed. And he is holding to his strategy regarding of the company’s success. He turned down Starbucks because, as he said, “growing up in my household, I had never seen a black person drink coffee. So it was my thought process that black people didn’t drink coffee… In my house, it was always sweet tea or hot chocolate.”
His most successful ventures include:
■ Google IPO’d — he invested before the company went public and it was a smart move. In 2014, the company’s stock traded at only $85 per share and today the price rose to $700 and over. This is one of his smartest investments.
■ Restaurants — 17 Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and 155 Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchises — at where he owns over 10 per cent of the whole franchise.
■ Car washes — 150 car washes, in total. The most recent deal he made was with The General auto insurance company.
The story behind their collaboration is connected to his college years at Louisiana State University. He insured his vehicle — Ford Bronco — through the company that today sells insurance in 44 US states.
■ Real Estate — the former basketball star created The O’Neal Group, in 2006, which has shown as the perfect investment, through which he participated in various projects.
One of the biggest was the Met Miami, a residential high rise with more than 1,000 units. He also owns many nightclubs in Vegas, only as a part owner.
■ 24 Hour Fitness gyms — in total, he owns 40 gyms. The amazing athlete with uncountable wins behind, fused his passion for sports and business talent to build a chain of well-recognised sports gyms.
As with everything he does, he gave those gyms his personal touch, expressed in the details that reflect his commitment to sports.
Shaquille O’Neal is an inspiration for people from all over the world.
Not only to sports fans but to many people that believe in the power of education and accomplishment. Recently Shaquille has joined yet one more business by enrolling himself in a network marketing with the world’s leading VIP travel and lifestyle club.
He is starting his career from the bottom aiming once again to the top. To put it in his words, “It is not about how much money you make. The question is are you educated enough to KEEP it.”