SXSW: Basketball pro Shaquille O'Neal turns tech star

SXSW: Basketball pro Shaquille O'Neal turns tech star
SHARE
THIS


What best describes you?

He may be known as one of the best-known basketball players of his generation, but today Shaquille O'Neal was revealed to be one of the savviest tech investors of our time.

While the self-confessed "tallest geek in the world" might have made a fortune using his 7ft 1inch frame to score hoops, he also made a packet on the flotation of Google, and a multitude of projects since.

He is at the South by SouthWest festival to promote his latest investment Tout, described variously as a visual based version of Twitter, which has 150m followers.

Not that he doesn't use Twitter as well, he has 6.8m fans, and probably more aft his performance today, and more than 3m Facebook likes.

"Yesterday I was at the convention centre (at the trade show) and I thought I was at Toys R Us," was one of many quips which bought a laugh from the majority of the packed-out auditorium.

Indeed he is a master of using Twitter, revealing his formula to use it 60% of the time to "make you laugh", 30% of the time to inspire and 10% for self-promotion.

Indeed when he originally joined Twitter there was already a person imitating him there, and O'Neal said he had tracked him down and paid him a visit to "ask what's up", a terrifying thought for any would-be troll.

He lives by the mantra "image is reality", and works hard to present his true self, rather than the made-up personas a lot of celebrities pursue on social media.

"After I left college and got int basketball some people came in and said 'we want to create your image', but that wasn't real to me," he intoned.

"A lot of people get in trouble trying to be something they're not, the people who aren't real. If you try to act like something you're not it will catch up with you."

Describing himself as a "regular guy" he said befriending geeks at school, where he was a self-admitted "juvenile delinquent", teaching him how to use a computer on the army base he was bought up on.

"A lot of people told me I was no good and I would never amount to anything," he said. "Geeks made me realise I wasn't as dumb as I thought."

Talking about how he prompts his son to use the internet to help his studies he added: "I wish they had all the stuff we have now back then. I would have been the valedictorian."

And perhaps he's not overstating, having completed a PhD in Human resources, and also undergone police training at three different academies.

When asked about his impressive investment record O'Neal was quick to credit his team, admitting they had made it easy for him.

He also told a story of an early tech startup selling shoes online he undertook in 1995. "After we had set it up I realised I was ten years too early. My audience of inner-city kids didn't have computers back then."

That is also something he has helped change, providing 1,000 PCs for disadvantaged kids in his home town.

He also praised the work of techies, saying they did "a lot for us", saying he hoped his endeavours on the basketball court helped give something back to them. 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Four Questions About Connected TVs Everyone Is Asking – Answered
  • Opinion

Four Questions About Connected TVs Everyone Is Asking – Answered

In this guest post, the ANZ country manager for martceh firm dataxu, Matthew Joyce (pictured below), says almost half of Australians have a connected TV and he takes a look at what that means for brands and advertisers… Four in 10 of us have smart TVs at home, and of that, 70 per per cent are Connected TVs (CTV). […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
TV Production Firm Crocmedia Hires Nine’s Tim Cleary For New Venture
  • Media

TV Production Firm Crocmedia Hires Nine’s Tim Cleary For New Venture

Crocmedia has announced the launch of Rainmaker, a dedicated TV production services business to be headed by former Head of Programming and Production at Channel Nine, Tim Cleary. Cleary will draw on his 25 years in the industry to spearhead the creation of bespoke new shows for distribution both in Australia and overseas under the Rainmaker […]

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners
  • Advertising

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners

The Advertising ID Consortium – the open identity solution for the digital advertising ecosystem – has announced new platform partners. Since the Consortium’s announcement in May 2017, the founding members have established a governance framework and product specification that includes an open and standardised cookie and accessible people-based identifiers, delivered in a secure, privacy conscious […]

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand
  • Marketing

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand

Australian in-store music provider Marketing Melodies has announced an exclusive reseller agreement with Spotify-backed Soundtrack Your Brand for the Australia and New Zealand markets. Founded in Sweden in 2013, Soundtrack Your Brand was developed to kill bad background music. Its flagship solution, Soundtrack Business, is a music streaming platform licensed for commercial and public spaces. The […]

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia

Customer acquisition firm Social Garden has become the first business in Australia to achieve Bronze status on Snapchat. Among the new benefits Social Garden will receive as a result of its Bronze status is access to beta versions of Snapchat data tools, such as the Snapchat Conversion Pixel, as well as being among the first […]

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM
  • Marketing

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM

Influencer marketing player Hypetap has made its second senior hire in less than a month, appointing Chris Morfis as the company’s general manager. Joining from influencer marketing provider Nuffnang Australia, Morfis will guide Hypetap’s growing team, providing strategic direction to accelerate the company’s growth, as well as leading operations and managing relationships with key partners. Morfis’ appointment will […]

On Air sign in a studio broadcasting via radio, podcast or wireless transmission.
  • Media

ARN Announces Departure Of Content Director & Radio Veteran

Australian Radio Network (ARN) has announced that Charlie Fox, content Director for WSFM and The Edge, and WSFM morning announcer Ron E Sparks, have departed. Fox has been with ARN since 2005, and Sparks joined WSFM in 2002. ARN national content director Duncan Campbell said the departure of Fox and Sparks are part of the […]

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne
  • Media

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne

OMD unveils new Melbourne MD, and it certainly wasn't among any of B&T's picks. Not that we were picking, mind you.

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content
  • Media

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content

Video cloud service Brightcove has announced that Sydney Festival has selected the platform to improve its user experience through online video content. Brightcove will do so by removing third-party branding and pre-roll ads, as well as adding autoplay functionality, ahead of the event in January. Leveraging the Brightcove video platform to host and publish video […]

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?
  • Opinion

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?

Remember the old Palmolive soap ad that asked, "Don't wait to be told"? This is sort of similar, albeit sans any suds.

Opinion

by Peter Harris

Peter Harris
Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban
  • Campaigns

Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban

We have a strident anti-pornography policy at B&T. Earphones must be worn at all times and strictly no little people.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful

Health and wellbeing company Nature’s Way is celebrating the achievements of kids in a series of relatable and entertaining online videos that tug at the heart strings of parents. Instead of using actors to tell the brand story of Nature’s Way’s Kids Smart supplement range, Storyful has helped Wavemaker to license user-generated content clips of […]

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account
  • Marketing

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account

Electronics and whitegoods specialist Hisense has announced it has appointed DEC PR to lead its strategic communications remit in the local market, following a competitive tender process. DEC PR will work to support its brand building activities and managing corporate communications. The agency’s work will integrate closely with Hisense’s other marketing partners. Andre Iannuzzi, marketing […]