AriZona Beverages, co-founded by Sands Point resident Don Vultaggio, announced Tuesday the launch of a nationwide rollout of the Soda Shaq Cream Soda line — named for NBA basketball great Shaquille O'Neil.
The iconic basketball player, whose number 34 was recently retired by the Los Angeles Lakers, is the latest sports legend to join team AriZona.
A product kickoff event is scheduled Aug. 20 at AriZona's headquarters in Woodbury, located at 60 Crossways Park Dr. West.
“My family and I are huge fans of AriZona and we always have it in our refrigerator," said O'Neil in a press release. "One of my favorite drinks growing up in Newark as a kid was cream soda; together we made an all-star lineup that I’m looking forward to sharing with my fans.”
According to Nassau officials, AriZona faced a major challenge when it outgrew its headquarters in Lake Success in the mid-2000’s. Faced with pressure to move its headquarters to New Jersey to be near one of the company’s manufacturing plants, Vultaggio worked with the County to maintain the company’s headquarters on Long Island.
Nassau County worked with the AriZona leadership team to secure financing for the construction of a 100,000 square-foot office building in Woodbury as well as the installation of the necessary fixtures, machinery and computer equipment the company needed, according to Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.
“With local employers contributing to the economic base and connectivity of our local communities, we must help raise awareness of the role they play and promote a business-friendly Nassau that attracts suppliers and distributors in similar industries," said County Executive Ed Mangano, in a press release.
AriZona moved to the Woodbury headquarters in October 2009, under the pretense that the company would add 50-60 jobs in its first year in the new building and another 20-30 in its second. Since 2009, AriZona has added more than 170 jobs, according to county officials. AriZona now employs more than 300 people in Nassau County, of its approximate 1,000 national employees.
The Soda Shaq Cream Soda line comes in four flavors including vanilla, blueberry, strawberry and orange.