By Barry Janoff
November 10, 2016: At 7’1”, 340 lbs., Shaquille O’Neal fills a big space no matter what the location.
But he seems even larger than life when he Shops Small with Grammy Award-winning musician Kendrick Lamar in Soaptopia in Los Angles for a new campaign from American Express.
O’Neal has signed on to represent AmEx in its Shop Small platform, which encourages card members to populate small businesses beginning Nov. 12 and then through the holiday season. (Details here.)
AmEx said that Shop Small was the largest and longest running campaign in its history.
"As a businessman myself, I understand how important it is for our communities to Shop Small and have a personal stake in supporting American Express’ 2X Rewards campaign," O’Neal said in a statement.
The effort with Shaq and Lamar includes TV, Internet and social media.
As an official partner with the NBA (and six of its teams), the Shop Small campaign will also include special in-venue experiences. The first is scheduled for Nov. 10 in Miami’s AmericanAirlines Arena when the Chicago Bulls play the Miami Heat, with whom O’Neal won an NBA title in 2006.
AmEx said that as part of the campaign, additional spots featuring O’Neal and other surprise guest shoppers at two additional Shop Small locations would be released in the coming weeks.
"Along with being celebrated for his Hall of Fame basketball career, Shaquille is an American Express Card Member, an entrepreneur and philanthropist who embodies many of the key characteristics of what our brand represents," Brad Minor, vp-global brand partnerships and experiential marketing for American Express, said a statement.
"Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most recognizable athletes in the world, and we’re stoked to be working with him to help encourage consumers to support small businesses this holiday season through our Shop Small for 2X Rewards campaign, as well as partner with him on our larger NBA season sponsorship plans," said Minor.
The launch spot, "Shaq And Kendrick Score Big At Soaptopia," finds O’Neal and Lamar in specialty shop Soaptopia testing such products as Pink-a-Boo Blossom, Red-Hot Lover and what appears to be Shaq’s favorite, I’m Yummy And I Know It.
That is until Larmar shares the exclusive Luscious Lamar Bar, which leads to the discovery that the shop has created a specialty product for O’Neal: Shea Butter Shaq. "That’s nice," says Shaq as he fills his shopping basket.
O’Neal, an analyst for Turner Sports NBA on TNT Inside the NBA, recently acquired a Krispy Kreme location in Atlanta and has endorsement deals that include The General insurance, Gold Bond, Icy Hot and Reebok. Earlier this year he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
His marketing deals are under the auspices of Authentic Brands Group.
In The Dough: O’Neal Buys Into The Krispy Kreme Community
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