Tuesday
Aug112009

Shaq Not Resting During Summer Vacation

August 11, 2009: As if the recent trade from the Phoenix Suns to the Cleveland Cavaliers as LeBron James' new teammate did not get Shaquille O'Neal enough face time with fans and media, and the fact that he has more than 1.9 million followers on Twitter does not give him enough control of the newest form of new media, O'Neal has embarked on a nationwide tour to film segments of his upcoming reality show, Shaq Vs., and also has become an investor in GreenHouse, a San Diego based alternative green energy company. And did we mention his appearance in late July on WWE's Monday Night Raw (the same day he showed up unannounced at the White House to try to meet President Obama and was turned away by security), which was so successful he is being asked to come back.

O'Neal will film the third segment of Shaq Vs. on Aug. 13 at T.R. Hughes Ballpark, about 35 miles west of St. Louis, where he will challenge Cardinals' all-star first baseman Albert Pujols to a home run derby. This past weekend he filmed a segment in which he teamed with Olympic gold medal volleyball player Todd Rogers in a challenge against Olympic gold medalists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh in Huntington Beach, Calif. The match went to May-Treanor and Walsh, and Shaq said if he lost he would walk the beach in a pink Speedo. He made good, sort of, putting on a pink Speedo over his black full-body swimsuit.

The first segment of the reality show was taped July 24 with Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, where the two athletes went head-to-head in a 7-on-7 game with members of the Pittsburgh Colts semipro football team at a high school football field in Ambridge, Pa. That segment, which likely will be the premiere episode of Shaq. Vs. on ABC on Aug. 18, saw Team Roethlisberger defeat Team Shaq 21-14. However, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explained, "the 'magic' of television and the not-so-reality aspect of reality TV leaves that [score] up to interpretation."

The Shaq vs. Pujols home run derby will play out in front of a sold out T.R. Hughes Ballpark (home of the River City Rascals of the independent professional Frontier League), as some 4,000 tickets were given away by the team. The will be no media coverage allowed at the event, and fans in attendance will have to abide by strict rules, including "No cameras, cell phones (of any kind) or recording devices allowed in the stadium! Leave them in your car! " In addition, ABC Entertainment and the show's production companies, Media Rights Capital and Dick Clark Productions, issued this statement: "By attending you give your consent to for the production company, to use and publicize your voice, actions, likeness and appearance, in any manner. If you do not want to be filmed, do not attend."

Upcoming segments of Shaq Vs. also are scheduled to include swimmer Michael Phelps, tennis star Serena Williams and boxer Oscar de la Hoya. Shaq also has put out a call to Lance Armstrong (no official reply as of Aug. 11) and David Beckham, who has to date rejected O'Neal's invitation, which in turn led Shaq to post on his Twitter page such tweets as:

July 23: "Dear David Beckham. I know you have heard about my Shaq Vs show, anyway u will never score a goal on me. I challenge you, lil' man."

July 24: "David beckham I kno u hear me, dnt be scared, dnt make me call u out, u will never score a goal on me."

July 25: "Dear david beckham, dnt make me tweet to 2 million people that yur scared of shaq, u betta respnd, if u scared get a dog." And

July 28: "Official, today is David Beckham is scared of Shaq day, he should be scared, he can never score a goal on me."

O'Neal also has found time to invest in and promote GreenHouse, which claims to deliver sustainable fuel in an E-Fuel MicroFueler, a portable in-home micro-refinery system that turns organic waste into ethanol that currently goes for about $2 a gallon. "I tried it, I liked it," O'Neal said in a statement. "I flew to Southern California to see it first hand. It's cost effective and it works. Hopefully, with my presence people will look at (the fuel system) and they'll try it." Shaq said he is thinking about changing one of his many nicknames, Big Diesel, to Big Eth.

Shaq 'N' LeBron In Cleveland: Let The Rock 'N' Roll Marketing (And Tweets) Begin

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