Business is a gamble.
When you are white and make those gambles people call you innovative and entrepreneurs.
When you are black and you make white people uncomfortable, they will pray for things like your sneakers exploding on the court.
LaVar Ball took a risk, I wouldn’t call it a massive risk, because when your son is going to be guaranteed $33+ million before he even plays in an NBA game, the risk is fairly minimal.
They didn’t have to jump at the first sneaker deal that was offered to them and they didn’t. To make sure that wasn’t a mistake, they needed a couple of chips to fall their way. The first one did when the Lakers drafted Lonzo.
The others will depend a lot on how good of a player Lonzo will be, but as of today they are in a better position with their brand than they were 3-4 months ago and that is good business.
LaVar Ball admits his son’s wearing of different shoes serves as both a temptation and an invitation to the brands that passed on him.
“It’s making a statement to the brands of what they could have had with an open mind,” the patriarch said via text message. “The players are the brand ambassadors. The brand is nothing without the players.”
Asked whether there’s still a chance that a big shoe brand can sign his son Lonzo Ball, LaVar responded: “If the price is right. Quite frankly we are officially in the shoe game, and are a billion dollar brand either way.”
LaVar isn’t going to get a billion, that is hyperbole and he knows it, but the reality according to ESPN is sneaker companies are willing to bump up their initial offers.
In negotiations with the big brands — Nike, Adidas and Under Armour — LaVar made it known that he was looking for $1 billion and wanted those brands to sublicense his Big Baller Brand. The shoe brands quickly passed. Days later, the first Big Baller Brand shoes launched on the company website.
Industry sources said the traditional companies have offered Ball deals in the range of $1.5 million per year. Playing on the Lakers, plus the power of his holdout, could boost that up over $2 million a year.
If Lonzo turns into a star does that $2 mil turn into $5 mil or $10 mil a year? If Lonzo helps turn the Lakers around or LeBron comes to team up with him, would NIKE be willing to buy BBB?
These are the gambles LaVar is willing to take and so far everything has come up 7 and 11 for BBB.
Flip the page for video of LaVar explaining why Lonzo can wear different sneakers…