Former basketball star Shaquille O'Neal will become a brand
ambassador for Carnival Cruise Line and its new "Choose Fun"
The hulking 7-foot-1 O'Neal will appear in a 30-second video
tour of the Carnival Vista in his first assignment as CFO (chief fun officer).
"Shaq," as he is known, will show his playful side
during the tour, sporting a Love Boat-style captain's hat and visiting the
SkyRide, Havana pool and the Cloud 9 Spa, among other Vista attractions.
On the ship's basketball court, Shaq stuffs an attempted layup
by a co-worker. At Guy Fieri's Burger Joint, he tries to swipe a burger from an
"We are very excited to have Shaq as part of the
Carnival team!" said Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy. "He
will serve as a great ambassador ensuring everyone knows all about our
one-of-a-kind brand of fun."
Since retiring from the National Basketball Association in
2011, O'Neal's principal role has been as a commentator on the TNT channel's
basketball coverage. In the past, he has done TV commercials for Buick, Pepsi,
Reebok, IcyHot and other products.
O'Neal played for six teams over a 19-year career and was
part of four championship teams, including one for the Miami Heat in 2006. The
Heat's principal owner is Carnival Corp. chairman Micky Arison.
Carnival said O'Neal's role at the brand will be to lend his
"fun, larger-than-life personality and playful spirit" to inspire
travelers to "Choose Fun" when planning their next vacation and in
their everyday lives.
Shaq's role will be brought to life via video content,
social media and "experiential activations," beginning Jan 12.