After seeing 30,000 kids involved in a League of Legends Season 3 World Championship, Shaquille O’Neal decided to invest in Sacramento Kings co-owners’ “NRG Esports”.
Shaquille O’Neal was a menace on the basketball court. Even after his retirement, the former Lakers legend finds ways to be connected to sports. One of the unique ways how Shaq manages to do so is by investing in an esports team.
Founded in 2015 by Sacramento Kings co-owners Mark Mastrov and Andy Miller, back in 2016 O’Neal invested in the popular team – NRG Esports.
Years after his investment, Shaq was asked to reveal the moment that motivated him to do so. In an interview with “The Washington Post”, the Hall-Of-Famer recollected:
“I was in California, I was spending time with the kids and they said, “Dad, there’s an event at the Staples Center [League of Legends Season 3 World Championship]. We want you to take us.”
So you know, I know people at the Staples Center. I call over there. I said, “Hey, you guys got an event going down.” They said, “Yeah there’s this new thing called esports, blah blah blah, come, because I’ve never heard of it.”
So then, when I get there, it feels like a basketball game. It’s 30,000 little kids screaming. And then watching these two kids play on screen, I asked myself, like, what is this? And [my kids] said this is the future, Dad. Esports.”
I looked into it. And then when I got the opportunity to invest in an esports team, I thought it was the right thing to do. Because you know, especially when it comes to technology, kids dictate what’s going to be and what’s not going to be.”
“Esports is one of the fastest-growing industries and appeals to so many people”: Shaquille O’Neal on the future of NRG Esports
Since Shaq’s involvement, NRG Esports has added to its worth. When asked what he believed the future for the same was going to be, the 7-footer icon detailed:
“I knew it then, I know it now: esports is still one of the fastest-growing industries and it just appeals to so many people,” O’Neal said.
“[With traditional sports] it’s all about engagement,” O’Neal said. “It’s all about [the] audience, it’s all about fun, it’s all about excitement, it’s the same thing. So now there’s room for all the sports to be out at the same time. But esports, the kids are already doing this anyway.”
“I always get these companies that say, ‘Hey, we’ll give you $900,000 in crypto to send out a tweet.’ So I have to say, ‘OK, if you’re going to give me a million dollars worth of crypto, then why do you need me?’” O’Neal said.
“You need me ‘cause once I put the tweet out and then people go to your site, that’s going to bring you $5, 6-7 billion. But how do I know you’re legit? A couple of my friends got caught up in a little scam like that one time.”
“Seventy-two percent of all professional athletes, when they’re done playing, have nothing,” O’Neal said. “I don’t want to be part of that stat. So now that I have this, I must cherish it because I want to start the creation of generational wealth for my family.”
Source: Shaquille O’Neal invested in $155 million NRG Esports after seeing 30,000 kids get involved in a League of Legends https://thesportsrush.com/shaquille-oneal-invested-in-155-million-nrg-esports-after-seeing-30000-kids-get-involved-in-a-league-of-legends/