NBA’s Shaquille O’Neal Joins WynnBet as Pitchman and Adviser
(Bloomberg) -- Basketball great Shaquille O’Neal has signed on as pitchman and adviser to WynnBet, part of Wynn Resorts Ltd.’s interactive division, becoming the latest star to endorse the fast-growing business of sports betting.
O’Neal will feature prominently in WynnBet’s advertising, attend in-person fan events and advise the company on its offerings, the parties said Monday. The 49-year-old basketball hall of famer has a long history as a celebrity endorser, offering his services to brands from Pepsi to Carnival Cruise Line. He’s worked as a sports commentator, anchor, rapper and DJ.
Sports betting has soared in the U.S. since the Supreme Court allowed states outside of Nevada to offer such wagers in 2018. More than half now do, according to the American Gaming Association.
Online operators are spending heavily to promote their brands amid an increasingly crowded marketplace. Others are tapping into the opportunity to work with the fledgling brands.
Terms of Wynn’s arrangement with O’Neal weren’t announced. The four-time NBA champion will sell his stake in the Sacramento Kings franchise to comply with NBA rules, Wynn said.
MGM Resorts International’s BetMGM unit hired former hockey star Wayne Gretzky as a brand ambassador in June. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen, the wife of seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady, is a special adviser to the board of DraftKings Inc. on environmental matters, while her husband’s nonfungible token business, Autograph, has a strategic relationship with the company.
Wynn Resorts announced in May it was merging its online unit with a special purpose acquisition company so that it will be separately traded under the name Wynn Interactive. The company’s main consumer betting brand is WynnBet.
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