One week after it was reported that Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas were spurning Lonzo Ball as a potential athlete endorser, the UCLA product has unveiled his first shoe under his family’s own brand, Big Baller Brand.
And it costs $US495 (not a typo).
Here is the shoe, dubbed the ZO2, not to be confused with a son of Alonzo Mourning.
Here is a closer look at the back of the shoe and the shoe’s logo.
According to Darren Rovell of ESPN, the shoe giants walked away after LaVar “offered something that has no precedent.”
“In his meetings with all three companies, LaVar insisted that they licence his upstart Big Baller Brand from him,” wrote Rovell. “He also showed the companies a shoe prototype that he hoped would be Lonzo’s first shoe.”
In other words, the Balls were not looking to sign an endorsement deal. Rather, they wanted their personal brand, Big Baller Brand, to become something more akin to Jordan Brand, a branch of Nike that grew out of Michael Jordan’s Air Jordan shoe line.
At the time, many were critical and laughed at Lonzo’s father, LaVar Ball, for potentially costing his son millions of dollars. But if this line of shoes takes off and the family is keeping most of the money, it might be LaVar who laughs last.
There is one odd detail, beyond the price. The website says there are no refunds or exchanges, a risky proposition for a shoe people can’t try on before they order.
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