He may be a NBA legend, but Shaquille O’Neal has built a larger-than-life name for himself across all of the sporting world, as well as in his variety of business and entertainment pursuits today. Once again, his dedicated efforts are coming together in the form of the highly-anticipated “Shaq’s Fun House Presented by FTX” event during Super Bowl LVI Weekend.
This will be the fourth year Shaq is hosting the extravagant evening, where the biggest names in Hollywood, music, and sports show up to support Shaq’s creative vision and all of the spectacle that follows. What makes this year different, however, is having Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles, the city in which Shaq won three consecutive NBA Championships on the Los Angeles Lakers.
“This year, I don’t have to fly in any celebrities because all of them are going to be there,” Shaq shares with me at Forbes. “My city, LA, they know I’m coming back. Music and sports, the two things that bring people together. We rented out the Shrine Auditorium/Expo Hall in Downtown LA. The date is February 11th from 8pm to 2am. I got to thank a couple sponsors: Papa Johns, Daring Foods, FTX of course, Pepsi. It’s going to be a great event.”
Not only is Shaq proud to have this year’s event in his city, but he is giving many iconic LA food businesses the opportunity to be featured on a national stage including Roscoe’s House Of Chicken And Waffles, Pink’s Hot Dogs, Diddy Riese, KazuNori, and Meat District.
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“Shaq’s Fun House Presented by FTX” will also showcase live music performances from Lil Wayne, Zedd, and special guest Diplo. Plus, in true Super Bowl fashion, the event will have its own halftime show with a performance from Shaq as his DJ Diesel alter ego. When I asked Shaq what it means to him to have these celebrated artists choosing to perform at his upcoming event, he says, “It’s an honor. I’ve known these people for a long time and they’ve always been nice to me. I think they know that ‘Shaq’s Fun House’ is probably the biggest event to happen before the big game on Sunday.”
Staying true to the “Fun House” name, the event will include many eye-catching carnival-like attractions. Crypto will even be making a welcomed appearance. FTX, the leading cryptocurrency and assets platform, will enhance the “Shaq’s Fun House” experience with the FTX ferris wheel, free NFTs for all attendees, and other crypto carnival prizing.
So what are Shaq’s personal thoughts on the growing demand and future of crypto in our world today? “You know, the greatest leaders are the ones that hire people smarter than them. There are a lot of smart people in my camp that keep me informed. You hear different perspectives of what crypto does. Right now, I’m just in the middle. I was the same way on NFTs. My foundation just put out 10,000 NFTs the other day and we made two million dollars for The [Shaquille O’Neal] Foundation – all proceeds would be going to helping out kids. It’s not that I’m a believer or non-believer. I’m just right in the middle.”
Tickets are now on sale to the public, including general admission and Wynn Nightlife VIP table packages. With “Shaq’s Fun House Presented by FTX” kicking off on the Friday night of Super Bowl LVI Weekend before the big game happens at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, I had to ask Shaq which NFL teams he hopes to see take the field come Super Bowl Sunday. “I was going to say Patriots and Cowboys, but Cowboys will never change. Hopefully it’s the Chargers and the Cowboys.”
As I wrapped up my always fun conversation with a very playful and gracious Shaq, I asked the 7’1” gentle giant if he has made any New Year’s Resolutions as we all hope for better days ahead in 2022.
“Yes, I want everybody in 2022 to have the most prosperous life that they can have. I want all the people that are feeling down on their luck to just wake up and say My luck has changed. I want all the children to be able to get anything they want or desire. I want people to be happy. That’s all I want.”