Count Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green among those who doesn’t think LaVar Ball’s marketing plan for his son Lonzo’s shoes is going to work.
Last week, the Ball family once again caused a stir when they released Lonzo’s first shoes, the ZO2, for a hefty price of $US495.
The news of the expensive shoes comes after Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour all turned down LaVar, who wanted to licence his brand, Big Baller, to the shoe companies rather than just sign a regular endorsement.
Green, speaking to Bay Area News’ Marcus Thompson on Uninterrupted’s “Dray Day” podcast, said that he actually likes LaVar’s idea, but thinks “they’re setting themselves up for failure.”
“I like the concept; however, I think they’re going about the whole thing wrong,” Green said.
“But $US500 for a basketball shoe? Who are we kidding? There will never be, like — LeBron dropped his prices from $US220 or whatever it was to, like , $US160. This is LeBron James we’re talking about. Michael Jordan’s shoes went up to $US200-something, they dropped back down. Kobe’s shoes dropped back down, Kyrie [Irving]’s shoes dropped down, [Kevin Durant]’s shoes dropped down, Steph Curry’s shoes dropped down.
“This kid has never scored a layup in the NBA. He thinks he’s gonna sell his shoes for $US500? That’s just absurd.”
Green said that if production costs to make the shoes are high, then the Ball family needs to find a new way to make money on the shoe, because the price is still too much.
“Are they charging that much because they can’t mass-produce the shoe, so they need to charge that much to cover the costs? Maybe. But even if that’s the case, then you gotta find a different route. You can’t just charge $US500 for a shoe.” When Thompson said maybe the Ball family is accepting pre-orders for the shoe and then manufacturing it, Green said, “Well, the only thing about that is, even if you don’t, the manufacturer is gonna charge you even more to make the shoe. They’re gonna take a per cent probably, a huge per cent probably, so you end up losing money anyway.”
Green and Thompson also said that LaVar’s controversial comments may also negatively affect the perception of the shoe.
“Even those that can afford that shoe don’t want to associate themselves with him,” Green said. “So the audience you’re going after, you have already made dislike you.”
According to a report from Matt Halfhill of Nice Kicks, fewer than 300 pairs of the ZO2 sold in the first day. As Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie notes, that also means the Ball family made over $US150,000 in one day for the shoe.
Green called the independent brand a “great idea,” but added, “I think that’s just crazy, and I think they’re setting themselves up for failure.”
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