Shaq Makes Deal With Papa John's in Epic Collaboration

*Image source: yahoo news

Shaquille O'Neal has gone from being one of the biggest men in pro sports to being THE biggest pizza spokesman on the planet. Shaquille O'Neal made headlines around the country when it was announced that the former NBA big man and TV analyst was partnering up with Papa John's. Shaq will be incorporated into a string of franchises that seek to utilize the famous Hall of Famer's charisma and athletic past in order to fundamentally redesign operations. Right now, reports are showing that Shaq will become the owner of nine franchises around the country. The first of the pizza franchises to open under the Shaq redesign will be on the Georgia Tech main campus, right near the TNT Studio that Shaq works at for 'Inside the NBA'.

For Shaq, the partnership with the famous pizza chain makes plenty of sense. Since retiring from the NBA, Shaq has been one of the most enterprising athletic entrepreneurs in the world. Outside of his work on television and in Hollywood, Shaq has been nearly prolific with his investments. Shaq is already the owner of a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts shop in Atlanta as well as 27 Five Guys locations throughout the country. Shaq is also the owner and founder of a Las Vegas chicken-themed restaurant known as Big Chicken. Shaq also has several major endorsements including a partnership with National General Insurance, Carnival Cruise Lines, and even the medical balm, Icy Hot.

Speaking on his endorsement with Papa John's, Shaq was quick to lob praise toward the brand. Shaq pointed out that he loves the pizza, the brand, and the environment that Papa John's has been cultivating. Simplifying the entire partnership into a single concept, Shaq went on to point out how everyone can find a way to love pizza and that pizza, in fact, is in love with everyone else. Shaq also went on to say that he was aiming to purchase many more franchise locations in the coming years as his partnership with the pizza franchise continues to grow and expand.

Initial details for the spokesman contract that Shaq signed point to more than $8.5 million dollars heading to Shaquille O'Neal. The contract includes more than $4.124 million in contract guarantees as well as over 87,000 total shares of the pizza company, to be released on a vesting schedule. According to the report, those shares are worth nearly $4.4 million in total. If Shaq's partnership is successful, those shares could turn into quite a profitable venture.

In terms of tangible changes coming to the Shaq-themed restaurant, there are sure to be plenty. The Shaq-themed renovations will incorporate the big man from various points and times in his career. Visitors will be greeted by Shaq's size-22 footprints in the doorway before being inundated with more of the 'Inside the NBA' star. On the menu, changes become even more dramatic. Shaquille O’Neal recently unveiled the 'Shaq-eroni' pizza which is a specialty designed specifically for the NBA player. This pizza, which will soon hit menus at all Shaq-branded locations, features a mix of sausage, extra cheese, and a monstrous amount of pepperoni.

In exchange for Shaq's work as a spokesman, the famous pizza brand will get the rights to Shaq's image for the purpose of advertising. What does this mean? Well, we'd get pretty comfortable with seeing Shaq's face on television when football season rolls around. Shaq said of the partnership, "I'm just a team member." Shaq went on to say that he is just waiting to get thrown the ball because he'll know what to do with it when it gets there. Currently, there are only nine Shaq-themed renovations but many more could be in store.

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