Shaquille O’Neal once said he wants his kids to work hard for their money, and his son Shareef O’Neal is doing just that.
Forbes reports that the basketball athlete has signed a long-term name, image, and likeness (NIL) deal with crypto startup NFT Genius. Shareef will release a non-fungible token (NFT) series with the celebrity-backed platform on Dec. 13. The collection will feature his journey and the stories of the iconic O’Neal family, where buyers can learn about their shared passion for sports, their love for family, and their mission to inspire others.
“I see NFTs as an innovative medium to bring fans along my life’s journey — to join me and my family through our own successes and struggles and bring awareness to causes that are important to me,” said Shareef, according to Forbes. “We want to reward everyone who secures my first NFTs that will reflect those things I am most passionate about — basketball, music, and giving back. We have a lot of surprises in store including winning signed memorabilia, free air drops, and access to some cool experiences with me and my family.”
What Fans Can Expect From The Drop
Shareef’s NFT collection will highlight his junior season at Louisiana State University, his music and lifestyle interests, and give fans insight into a pivotal moment in Shareef’s life when he recovered from a severe heart defect. He hopes to raise awareness for the life-threatening condition through his collection by releasing an exclusive NFT in February to honor American Heart Month. The funds from the drop will be donated to the American Heart Association.
“I think NFTs are that new wave and it’s really a way give power to creators that want to innovate. I can’t wait to use my NFTs to connect with fans and raise funds for a cause that I care about through my partnership with American Heart Association,” Shareef said, according to Forbes.
More On The Way From The O'Neal Family
Shareef’s newest venture marks his first into the world of NFTs; however, according to the student-athlete, it won’t be his last. Forbes reports, Shareef’s mother, Shaunie O’Neal, will release an NFT collection sometime next year, and the opportunity will open the door for the rest of the O’Neal family to follow suit with their own collection.
Jeremy Born, CEO of NFT Genius, believes the company’s partnership with the O’Neal family sets an example to athletes on how they can succeed through brand partnerships.
“Our goal is to set the standard on how athletes, brand, and influencers can enter the world of NFTs, with a thoughtful long-term strategy that rewards holders and offers unique opportunities that can’t be found on other platforms,” Born told Forbes.