Even though Shaquille O’Neal was one of the first celebrities to establish a massive following on Twitter, the giant 19-year NBA veteran decided to announce his retirement a completely different social platform. Shaq chose Tout, a six-week old social video start-up based in San Francisco, to tell the world he has officially retired from the game of basketball.
“We launched about six weeks ago, and about two weeks in apparently Shaq had stumbled upon [the app],” says Michael Downing, CEO of Tout. “Shaq’s got a lot of different things going on, but he’s told us that this is his personal media network and he’s going to be using us to promote everything else he’s doing.”
Tout, which allows users to broadcast short video clips, drew more than 500,000 viewers to the site over a few short hours to watch Shaq’s big announcement. According to Downing, however, this is just the beginning of his relationship with Shaq. The 7’1″ NBA legend has agreed to join Tout’s advisory board, and he’s already returned to the service to send a personal video message to Jim Rome, a sports talk show host, and to challenge his fans to conjure up a new nickname. His favorite nickname thus far? “The Big 401K.”
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