Shaquille O’Neal to release Luv Shaq vodka19th December, 2012 by Becky Paskin
Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal is to launch his own vodka, Luv Shaq, to compete against Diageo’s ultra-premium brand Ciroc.
The former LA Lakers star has partnered with Philadelphia-based Devotion Vodka, to produce a gluten and sugar-free vodka that’s also available in coconut flavour. The bottle will reportedly feature an image of O’Neal with giant wings.
While Luv Shaq will undoubtedly be given an exclusive US release upon launch early next year, Devotion Vodka claims the brand will directly compete with Ciroc, which sold 1.5million cases in 2011.
Ciroc, which is also backed by a celebrity – rap star Sean “Diddy” Combs aka Puff Daddy – is the second-largest ultra-premium vodka in the US, behind Bacardi’s Grey Goose which sold 3.8m cases in 2011.
According to reports, Luv Shaq will have a more competitive price point than its self-professed competitor.
O’Neal is just one of many celebrities finding fortune in the spirits industry, joining the likes of rapper Xzibit, actors Bruce Willis and Dan Ackroyd, and singers Pharrell Williams and Ne-Yo.