BY RICHARD TRIBOU
Shaquille O’Neal has joined the Carnival Cruise Line team as its CFO, but he isn’t the Chief Financial Officer.
No, the F, stands for “Fun,” and Carnival has produced a series of videos showing the former Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers star in his new role at the cruise line.
One has line President Christine Duffy explaining what she likes about what Shaq brings to the office.
“Mr. O’Neal is perfect for the job. His unparalleled passion and his unique business acumen are a tremendous asset,” she says in the video before it shows clips of Shaq demanding of a colleague, “I need those numbers by 5 o’clock today” and then leading a game of Duck, Duck, Goose in the boardroom.
Later he tells Duffy, “I turned the conference room into a ball pit. Marco Polo in 15.”
An email O’Neal mentions in the video, firstname.lastname@example.org, actually works, although at this point he is out of the office.
“Thank you for your email, kind sir, madame, or cat walking across the keyboard. I’m currently out of the office quality testing waterslides. For anything urgent, you can reach my by sky-writer (if I’m in your general area), and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.”
A second video has the NBA Hall of Famer and current TNT commentator giving a tour of Carnival Vista while in port in Miami.
The highlight is the boom operator smacking Shaq’s hand away as he tries to eat a French fry while at Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint on board, and then later Shaq smacks away a basketball on the ship’s SportSquare court saying, “No time for basketball.”
The cruise line does actually have a traditional CFO, as in Chief Financial Officer. That’s CFO Jim Heaney as well as parent company, Carnival Corp.’s CFO David Bernstein.
Carnival Corp. is the parent company to several cruise lines with more than 100 ships in its portfolio. Those lines include Carnival, but also Princess Cruises, Holland America, Cunard Line, Costa and Seabourne among others.
Carnival Cruise Line makes the largest portion of its fleet, though, with 25 ships in service and Carnival Horizon, a sister ship to Carnival Vista, due in April. Horizon will make its way to Miami by September for seven-night Caribbean cruises.
More to come
In a news release, Duffy and O’Neal had more to say:
“We are very excited to have Shaq as part of the Carnival team! He will serve as a great partner ensuring everyone knows all about our one-of-a-kind brand of fun,” said Duffy.
“We’re confident that his embodiment of our brand values will inspire America to Choose Fun and discover the authentic, participatory and social atmosphere that Carnival offers.”
“In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to choose fun, especially when everyone is busy with work, family, and life in general,” says O’Neal. “So, I’m honored to be appointed the Chief Fun Officer at Carnival — a company that lives and breathes fun.”
The line promises the videos today are the beginning of O’Neal’s role that will also include live interaction through social media and other promotions.