(9 a.m. EST) -- Thinking about taking a Carnival cruise? You might soon find NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal encouraging you to book one. The line has appointed Shaq as its CFO (Chief Fun Officer), a role that will involve promoting Carnival's ships through engaging video content, social media and other forms of marketing.
The news was revealed last night in a video aired during TNT's "Inside the NBA," on which Shaq is a commentator. In the tongue-in-cheek video, Carnival president Christine Duffy explains why Shaq is the perfect fit for the Chief Fun Officer position -- a play on the line's new "Choose Fun" brand campaign -- while he is shown at the cruise line's headquarters for his first day at work.
"We are very excited to have Shaq as part of the Carnival team," Duffy said. "He will serve as a great ambassador, ensuring everyone knows all about our one-of-a-kind brand of fun."
Carnival has already released the first in a series of videos to come, featuring Shaq in his new role onboard Carnival Vista. In it, he takes viewers on a 30-second tour of the ship, stopping at attractions like Guy's Burger Joint, the SkyRide and the Havana Pool.
"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," said O'Neal. "So I'm honored to be appointed the Chief Fun Officer at Carnival -- a company that lives and breathes fun."
In April 2018, Carnival will launch its next new cruise ship, Carnival Horizon. It will be a sister ship to Carnival Vista, offering many of the same features, as well as a handful of firsts for the line, including a teppanyaki restaurant and Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse Brewhouse, helmed by longtime Carnival partner and celebrity chef Guy Fieri.
--By Gina Kramer, Editor