Shaq production company part of new studio to produce movie, TV streaming content

Authentic Studios will also co-produce and finance third-party original content.

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Authentic Brands Group has expanded with the launch of a full-service production company called Authentic Studios, which will function as the home to Shaquille O’Neal’s Jersey Legends.

David Beckham’s Studio 99, Sports Illustrated Studios, and Authentic Productions are also part of the new hub, Variety reports. The Authentic Brands Group is a global brand development, marketing, and entertainment firm that manages the likeness of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Muhammad Ali, and brands that include Sports Illustrated, Reebok, Juicy Couture, Ted Baker, Brooks Brothers and Forever 21.

Former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal laughs as he attends the unveiling of the Shaq Courts at the Doolittle Complex donated by Icy Hot and the Shaquille O’Neal Foundation in partnership with the city of Las Vegas on Oct. 23, 2021, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Icy Hot)

Per the company’s website, “Its brands generate approximately $25* billion in global annual retail sales,” with a footprint in more than 150 countries.

Based in Beverly Hills, Authentic Studios will produce film, television, and commercial content leveraging Authentic’s portfolio of over 40 globally recognized brands. Authentic Studios will co-produce and finance third-party original content.

As Variety reports, Colin Smeeton, president of Authentic Studios, said in a statement, “Each of our four labels features a style of storytelling resulting in compelling content for all traditional and streaming mediums.”

Mike Parris, co-founder of Jersey Legends, will oversee day-to-day operations at Authentic Studios, according to Variety.

Smeeton has over 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry. He helped develop O’Neal’s personal brand expansion which included serving as executive producer on “Shaq” for HBO. The docuseries “chronicles Shaq’s ascent to superstardom, as a dominant force who won four NBA championships, league MVP honors, and changed the game,” per HBO’s synopsis, Sporting News reports. 

“We kept this documentary real from the start, and I do feel like it is the most honest look into my life and career up until this point,” said O’Neal in a 2022 statement. 

Most recently, O’Neal explained on “Inside the NBA” why he doesn’t hold back criticism toward NBA players. 

While reflecting on his own playing days, O’Neal said “I learned how to take [Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s] criticism and motivate me. That’s why I criticize guys.” 

He added, “You’re trying to motivate [NBA players]. They hear it sometimes and think it’s personal; trust me, it’s never personal,” O’Neal explained.

“Like, for example, when I stayed on Dwight [Howard], I knew he had something…like I’m trying to tell him so he knows and understands what it takes,” he continued.

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