What Companies Does Shaq Own?

Shaquille O’Neal is one of the biggest names in NBA history.

He’s played for several teams throughout his basketball career – including the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. Throughout his career, Shaq won four championships and three Final MVP awards.

He’s also garnered various accomplishments, such as being an eight-time All-NBA First Team member.

But among all the NBA players, Shaq is perhaps the only one to have continued being dominant outside the basketball court.

That’s because he began building his business empire after retiring from his career. From Big Chicken to Five Guys, below is a list of businesses Shaq owns (and used to own).

Companies That Shaq Owns

In this article, I have documented all of Shaquille O’Neal’s business ventures.

1. Big Chicken

Big Chicken is Shaq’s very own restaurant that started in 2018.

Aside from Big Aristotle himself, the restaurant is backed by JRS Hospitality and Authentic Brands Group.

Big Chicken offers a menu of home-cooked childhood favorites with a twist. For instance, there’s Lucille’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese, which has a crunchy Cheez-It crust.

Big Chicken also has several signature sandwiches.

The Big and Sloppy sandwich has onion rings, macaroni and cheese, and a barbecue aioli sauce.

But if you’re looking for something spicier, try Uncle Jerome’s Nashville Hot, a Nashville-themed chicken sandwich served with lettuce, mayo, and pickles.

2. Shaq Shoes

Shaq once encountered an angry mother after a match, complaining that sneakers by NBA players were all expensive and that they were taking money from the kids.

That same day, he turned down a major $40 million deal with Reebok. He would still play and walk in Reeboks, but he would start his own shoe line.

In fact, after the announcement of the termination of cooperation between the two parties, Shaq started working on another shoe deal that would lead him in a different direction.

This encounter inspired him to create his own affordable shoe brand that’s still comfortable and stylish. In fact, prices can go as low as around $13.

On top of that, you can buy Shaq Shoes from chain stores like Walmart, Shoe Carnival, and Shoe Warehouse.

3. Papa John’s

Shaq is heavily involved with the pizza chain Papa John’s. Not only does he own nine franchises, but he’s also Papa John’s brand ambassador.

He even sold the company the right to use his name, pseudonym, voice, and photographs for any advertising campaigns for $8.5 million.

He has also been a board member since 2019. As part of a three-year deal, Shaq also became a business spokesperson. This happened immediately after the controversial outing of the previous CEO.

4. Krispy Kreme Donuts

Shaq’s Krispy Kreme franchise would probably be his favorite since he loves donuts!

He fell in love with the donut franchise when he was in college, and he made it his goal to own one someday.

Shaq owns one location in Ponce de Leon, Atlanta, and hopes to earn more.

Unfortunately, that one location was destroyed by arson on February 10, 2021. Nevertheless, he has been rebuilding the Krispy Kreme branch and plans to open it in the summer of 2023.

5. Lyft

Lyft is a transportation network company that operates in 640 cities in the US and 9 cities in Canada.

Shaq first invested in Lyft when it was still a startup, way back in 2013. He has continued to put more money into the company as it grew and became more successful.

6. Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is an enhanced water product owned by the Coca-Cola company.

Shaq has been a fan of Vitaminwater for a long time. In fact, he collaborated with them in 2008 to create his own flavor: the “Shaq Fu Punch.”

Since then, he has made numerous appearances in their ads.

7. 24-Hour Fitness Centers

24-Hour Fitness is the largest operator of fitness centers in the world, with at least 430 locations in the US.

Shaq has been involved with the global health company since becoming a brand ambassador in 2013. Then, in 2016, he became a member of the board of directors and became a strategic advisor in 2019.

Shaq owns around 40 locations of 24-Hour Fitness centers.

8. Car Washes

Car washes offer some of the most profitable money-making opportunities.

In fact, these are some of the Big Diesel’s first business investments and, currently, Shaq owns around 150 car washes.

9. eSports

eSports tournaments are normally sponsored by major companies like Intel, Red Bull, and Coca-Cola.

Shaq is a minority owner of NRG Esports, an American eSports organization founded in 2016. Shaq first invested in the company in the same year.

NRG Sports competes in games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Fortnite Battle Royale, Rocket League, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

10. Ring

Ring is a home security company under Amazon. Their flagship product is the Ring Video Doorbell, which lets users see and speak with visitors outside the door using a smartphone app.

Shaq invested in Ring in 2016 and has since then also made a few appearances in their commercials as an ambassador.

11. Authentic Brands Group

ABG is a major corporation with brands like Forever 21, Juicy Couture, and J. Crew. On top of that, it also holds rights to stars like Muhammad Ali, Elvis Presley, and Marilyn Monroe.

In 2015, Shaq signed a deal with ABG and slowly increased his investment. He’s currently the second-largest individual shareholder of the group.

12. Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings are a professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California. They compete in the National Basketball Association as part of the Western Conference’s Pacific Division.

The Kings are the only Sacramento-based major professional North American sports league.

Shaq has been a minority owner since 2013 – more specifically, he’s part of the group that owns around 5% of the team.

13. Majority

Majority is an ad agency focused on diversity. Shaq is a co-founder together with CEO Omid Farhang, the former chief creative at Momentum Worldwide.

The inspiration for this business comes from most agencies struggling to meet a 25% diversity target. The company aims to flip that diversity ratio so the minority becomes the majority.

Shaq is taking an active role in this business.

Special Mentions

Shaquille O’Neal always keeps his portfolio of business ventures moving. That means he sells some, and he buys some.

Below are some franchises that were widely known to have been owned by Shaq but were also eventually sold.

Auntie Anne’s

You probably can’t roam a mall or shopping center without seeing an Auntie Anne’s.

Shaq signed as a franchise owner in 2007 and owned 17 stores across the country. However, this was short-lived since he eventually sold all those franchises.

In one podcast, he said, “I sold my Auntie Anne’s because black people don’t like pretzels that much. So I had to switch it up.”

Five Guys Burgers Restaurants

Five Guys would be the first significant investment that Shaq made. His first location of this fast-casual franchise was in Atlanta in 2008, and he ended up with a total of 155 Five Guys locations.

This was 10% of the company at that time.

However, the Big Diesel eventually sold off all his Five Guys stores in 2016. He used the money to start his own restaurant – Shaquille’s, a casual Southern-style restaurant and pub. But this is now permanently closed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Shaquille O’Neal certainly made it big outside of his NBA career with successful business ventures. After all, he ended up having more than a hundred car washes and shared the rights to own Elvis Presley.

He even has several branches of his very own restaurant!

If you have more questions about Shaq’s success in business, then I will attempt to answer a few of them below.

How Many Businesses Does Shaq Own?

According to Shaq himself in his own reality TV Shaq Life, he owns 50 brands, including franchises and investments.

Aside from those mentioned above, I have added a few others that he has a hand in.

  • CityPlex12 Movie Theater
  • SpringHill Entertainment (media production company)
  • several Las Vegas nightclubs
  • 21 (technology company)
  • BodyArmor (sports drink company)

In 2021, Beachbody and Myx Fitness merged with Forest Road Acquisition. The overall value of the merged companies was $3 billion, and Shaq was listed as a strategic advisor.

Shaq has also advertised for different brands, like:

  • Burger King
  • McDonald’s
  • Taco Bell
  • Pepsi
  • Oreo

How Did Shaq Become a Successful Entrepreneur?

According to NBC Sports, Shaq’s net worth as of 2021 is estimated to be around $400 million.

At the start, he knew nothing about taxes and the like. But his banker warned him after Shaq spent the first million dollars that he made. This made him more mindful of taking care of and spending his money.

As he continued being a professional basketball player, he was proactive in finding ways of making money outside the court. He even asked himself, “How do Michael Jackson and all these guys live forever?”

Shaq revealed that, as he was retiring, he called three companies – namely Authentic Brand Group, Simon Property Group, and Brookfield Property Partners. They bought his brand for a lot of money.

He took half that money and put it back into ABG, eventually becoming the second-largest individual shareholder in the company.

The Big Diesel explained that he could have simply sold his brand and likeness without reinvesting the proceeds in the company.

However, that would give them the right to move in other directions that Shaq may not like. To make things worse, they would be able to do that even without his authorization or direct involvement.

As such, by becoming a major stakeholder in the company, he would still have control over his image rights.

Shaq credits Jeff Bezos for the investing philosophy of only investing in businesses that will change people’s lives. He noted his net worth quadrupled thanks to sticking to that.

But the Big Diesel also stayed true to himself and stayed within his comfort zone.

For instance, his love for Papa John’s and Krispy Kreme made him buy franchises of those companies. Meanwhile, his background as a professional athlete led him to own fitness centers and the Sacramento Kings.

He also dabbles in tech and real estate.

Is There Anything Shaq Won’t Advertise or Invest In?

Not only does Shaq invest in companies – he also owns some of them.

With Shaq’s larger-than-life personality and diverse portfolio, you would think he takes all the opportunities he can get.

Surprisingly, that’s not the case.

As mentioned, Shaq lives by the philosophy of only investing in companies that will change people’s lives or make them enjoy life more. He also doesn’t advertise or invest in anything he wouldn’t use himself.

For instance, he turned down a contract from Starbucks since he felt that black people wouldn’t be able to relate to it.

He also wouldn’t invest in cryptocurrency because he didn’t understand it.

What Else Is Shaq Involved in Outside of Owning Brands?

Shaq isn’t just about giving basketball tips outside the court and owning brands. In fact, other than his other business ventures, he’s also involved in academics and the arts.

  • Academics – The Big Diesel has a PhD! Yes, towards the end of Shaq’s career, he worked on an educational doctorate at Barry University with the topic “The Duality of Humor and Aggression in Leadership Styles.”
  • Music – You might have heard of Shaq Diesel, the first rap album that also reached platinum. He composed three more rap albums after that. He even became an electronic music producer and DJ. To top it all off, he even conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra in 2010.
  • Acting – Shaq has appeared in films (like Blue Chips and Steel), commercials, and his own reality shows.
  • Mixed martial arts – Shaq trained in several martial arts, like boxing, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and Muay Thai.
  • Law enforcement – Shaq has also been interested in police departments, so he became a reserve officer in the Los Angeles Port Police and currently serves an honorary role on the task force.


Shaquille O’Neal already made it big during his playing career. However, he became even bigger outside of the basketball court thanks to his business success.

Shaq owns and has owned around 50 brands – including Big Chicken, Papa John’s, Krispy Kreme, Las Vegas nightclubs, and Marilyn Monroe.

Outside of Shaq’s franchises and investments, he has also made a name for himself as a rapper and movie star.

Although the Big Diesel seems fearless in his decisions and will try out any opportunity thrown his way, that’s certainly not the case.

He’ll only dabble in things that will change people’s lives, and he would use himself. By following this philosophy, Shaq has built his impressive commercial empire.