'Shaq Called My Wife'—Because He Asked
Watch how this Bloomfield-Bloomfield Hills Patch blogger made the most of his encounter with the basketball—and social media—icon.
Iain Lanivich is all about making things happen.
That's why the Bloomfield Hills ad executive didn't hesitate when he had the opportunity to mingle with one of the most recognizable—and revered—people on the planet, while earning some serious brownie points at home.
On Monday, Lanivich gave his wife, Margaret, the gift of chatting with former NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal live from the stage of the South-by-Southwest Interactive media conference in Austin, TX. And he did it by simply asking while the future NBA Hall of Famer spoke as a leader in celebrity social media during a panel discussion. Shaq boasts more than 3 million likes on Facebook and 6.6 million Twitter followers.
"Shaq believes your image is reality. He is who he is on TV, Twitter, or on stage at an event," said Lanivich, creative director for interactive at Campbell-Ewald, and Bloomfield-Bloomfield Hills Patch blogger.
"He wants people to feel comfortable around him. Like if you ran into him at a mall, you should feel comfortable about walking up to him, and getting a photo with your kids."
The opportunity occurred because Lanivich said he generally sits at the front of these events—while others tend to linger to the back. Having already exchanged some dialogue during the discussion, Lanivich didn't hesitate to go bold.
"I knew he was comfortable with me. So the second they opened for questions, I didn't wait in line for the microphone. And obviously, it all worked out—in amazing fashion," he said.
"You will never get noticed in the back. And if you don't build the confidence to do things, then you're never going to make things happen. And this conference is about making things happen, and that's what I did."
Margaret, who is a huge Shaq fan, is still "flipping out," he said.
"If I was given the opportunity for my wife to meet one celebrity, it would be Shaq. So there was no way I was going to miss that opportunity," he said.
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