January 20, 2012
"Shaquille O’Neal took sports and social media to the next level when the basketball superstar announced his retirement online on June 1. O’Neal sent Twitter users into a frenzy when he posted “im retiring Video: http://bit.ly/kvLtE3 #ShaqRetires,” but he put Tout, a video sharing site, on the map. One of sports’ early adopters of social media, O’Neal received a small stake in Tout and a spot on the company’s advisory board after his 15-second announcement. The move also set a precedent of what has become a growing trend of athletes and teams making major announcements via social media."

Shaq, soccer, UFC among sports’ 2011 social media superstars - ESPN