SHAQ EXPANDS HIS BRAND WITH CASINO GAMES

Shaq is expanding his “fun” brand.

Social casino game publisher Playstudios has unleashed some celebrity firepower by developing two new MyVegas games -- CaddyShaq and ShaqJack -– in partnership with basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal.

CaddyShaq is a slot machine game, while ShaqJack is a blackjack game. Both titles are narrated by Shaq and the TNT NBA analyst worked with Playstudios in developing, designing and implementing the games. CaddyShaq and ShaqJack became available yesterday on iOS, Google Play, Facebook and Amazon.

Last year, after I interviewed Shaq for our TV show, Forbes SportsMoney, I wrote “don’t be surprised if the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers star becomes a billionaire in the not-to-distant future.” Shaq told me “his brand is all about fun.” The Playstudios venture will move Shaq, who is already worth $350 million and earned $23 million in 2013, a bit closer.

As with myVEGAS, players earn online points that can be redeemed for non-gaming amenities at MGM properties, Royal Caribbean International and other Playstudios partners. Players can also win autographed CaddyShaq t-shirts and basketball jerseys, floor seats at a Sacramento Kings game and even a chance to go one-on-one with the big man himself at his home court. Shaq’s brand will no doubt draw attention to the games, boosting and give Playstuidios more scale by dint of lower advertising.

In October, Playstudios announced it had raised $20 million in a third round of funding led by Jafco Ventures. The company has stood apart because it offers real-life rewards, like complimentary stays in Las Vegas hotels, to loyal social casino game players. The new Shaq games will have similar rewards.

Source: www.forbes.com