3. Shaquille O'Neal
Retired All-Star NBA player Shaquille O'Neal owns 19 Auntie Anne's through his investor group, The O'Neal Franchise Group.
The group teamed with Milwaukee-based V&J in 2007, owned by longtime multi-unit franchisee Valerie Daniels-Carter, to form the VJ & O'Neal Enterprises Group for the primary purpose of owning and operating the Auntie Anne's stores.
According to Auntie Anne's, Shaq is only an investor in the franchises. He does not do any marketing or promotions for the pretzel brand.
Besides, Shaq is quite a businessman. The O'Neal Franchise Group is a subsidiary of
The O'Neal Group
, a commercial real estate venture Shaq formed in 2006. According to the company's Web site, it seeks to "acquire, develop and promote landmark real estate offerings that provide integrated lifestyle opportunities and/or improve the economy for previously underserved, underperforming areas."