Shaquille O’Neal Big Enough To Play Both Sides in Fast Food, Cola War, Lakers-Celtics Rivalries


August 14, 2010

Shaquille O’Neal is no strangers to playing for rivals in the NBA. The guy has managed to be both a Laker and now a Celtic. His double-dipping in his endorsements, though, may be just as shocking.

One of the few rivalries is as deeply rooted as the NBA’s biggest: Pepsi vs. Coke. Every year, Pepsi and Coke bring out matching products to make sure that neither can gain an edge. When he began his NBA career, O’Neal aligned himself with Pepsi, endorsing the product with ads both for the flagship beverage, and 1990s throwback sports drink All Sport, which Pepsi owns. (It is actually still made, even if it is rarely seen).

For Super Bowl XLII though, The Big Shamrock switched sides, wooed to Coca Cola product Vitaminwater — the product most responsible for the decline of traditional sports drinks like All Sport.

But this isn’t Shaq’s only double dip. While Burger King’s biggest rival is unquestionably McDonald’s, Taco Bell certainly isn’t on their team. Still, Shaq first hurt his neck for “The Bell.”

And emulated Shaft for “The King.”

Notice a trend? The ads that O’Neal makes for the second rival he supports is always better than those for the first. If that carries over to basketball, it bodes very well for the Celtics. will showcase one Moment of Shaq every day until the Celtics open the season against the Heat on Oct. 26 at the TD Garden.

Friday, Aug. 13: How do you measure up to Shaquille O’Neal? Calculate your Shaqtion.

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