Global kids media company Genius Brands International (NASDAQ:GNUS) announced Monday former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal has agreed to executive produce and star in a new animated series, and become a shareholder in the company.
Shaq's Garage won't debut until 2022, but it will be featured on Genius Brands Kartoon Channel!, the advertiser-backed platform available for both television and mobile devices that launched this past June. The size of O'Neal's investment in Genius Brands was not disclosed.
Another deal done
The animated series will focus on the adventures of cars and trucks that Genius Brands CEO Andy Heyward says is inspired by Walt Disney's Toy Story, Marvel's Tony Stark, and James Bond's 007 character.
The show is being created in partnership with Authentic Brands Group, a global brand development, marketing, and entertainment company that acquired the rights to O'Neal's business deals in 2015. The basketball legend has since partnered with Papa John's Pizza, 24-Hour Fitness, Auntie Anne's pretzel shops, and car washes, among others.
Considering the deal announcement only refers to O'Neal becoming a "shareholder" without indicating the size of the investment, it suggests his position might not be very significant.
Shares of Genius Brands are down 7% on the news. Although the broader market is falling sharply, too, the breathless press releases the media company is known for no longer seem to have the same ability to pump up the stock as they once did. The shares, which briefly hit $11.73 in June, currently trade below $1.50 a stub.
Even so, the stock is up nearly 2,700% from its 52-week lows, despite having lost more than 85% of its value from its high point.