Shaq says he spends over $1,000 a week on apps (video)


Shaquille O’Neal had a lot to say at South By Southwest (David Paul Morris / Bloomberg)

From the iWatch to Twitter, Instagram to being a pre-IPO investor in Google, Shaquille O’Neal has gone strong to the hoop on technology.

“I’ve always been a tekkie,” he told the Wall Street Journal’s Evelyn Rusli at South by Southwest. “I’m not ashamed to say I’m a geek at heart.”

Shaq, though, takes geekdom to an extreme. “Honestly I probably spend a thousand dollars on apps a week. Real money,” he said. “Last week, I bought like 20 deer hunter games, like hunting the deer on my phone. When I’m not working, I spend all my money on apps.”

A grand a week seems excessive, even for a multimillionaire like Shaq, but a man with a Twitter following that numbers more than 8 million is not to be trifled with. He explained his philosophy to Rusli:

“When it comes to social media, my breakdown has always been the same. Sixty percent [is] to make you laugh because laughing relieves stress. So 60 percent, when I send out a tweet or an Instagram video, you’re gonna laugh at it. Thirty percent [is] to inspire you. Maybe a quote that could lift your day or maybe a story I found in Instagram that can lift your day.”

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As for the final 10 percent, that’s devoted to blatant hucksterism.

“The last 10 percent I’m selling you stuff. I’m selling you Fitbit, I’m selling you Soda Shaq. I’m selling you Icy Hot. I’m trying to sell you Buicks. That’s how I use social media.

“For me it’s not always not about bragging. ‘Look, I just bought a car, the car cost $2.2 million, I’m the first one with it.’ I’ve never  done that. I think that’s one of the reasons why i was the first verified account on Twitter. I think that’s one of the reasons i have 8 million followers and it continues to grow because I send substance out.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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