Instead of issuing a press release or holding a media briefing, Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement from the NBA through Twitter. On Wednesday, Shaq posted the two-word message "im retiring" (sic) to his 3.8 million Twitter followers. He also linked to a video with a significantly longer message for his fans, and began the hashtag #ShaqRetires.
O'Neal said the reason he went with the nontraditional announcement was because he wanted his loyal fans to be the first to know, instead of waiting through the typical rigmarole.
"I want to thank you very much. That's why I'm telling you first. I'm about to retire. Love you. Talk to you soon," he said in the video.
The video was hosted on Tout.com, which is most popular for its seamless connectivity between Twitter and the iPhone. O'Neal made the video from his iPhone, using the Tout app, and then linked the video to Twitter via the app as well.
As expected, Tout used the event as a way to tout (yeah, we went there) itself. "Shaq will be using Tout as his own personal media network, updating his Twitter followers and his Facebook fans directly with new and exciting developments in his life following his retirement from the NBA," the company wrote in a statement.
Tout later clarified that even though it seemed to have some sort of professional relationship with Shaq, the company did not pay him for using it.
"Shaq's on our advisory board," Downing said. "It's pretty cool, but we aren't paying him for that. It's not a sponsorship deal or pay thing at all," Tout said in an interview.