When an accomplished and hyped basketball player enters the NBA, one of the first questions that comes up is which footwear company will sign the player to an endorsement deal. Traditionally, the endorsement deals for basketball players have been dominated by the large footwear companies such as Nike, adidas, Reebok, and Under Armor. In recent years, there has been a rise in new footwear companies signing basketball players with the emergence of brands such as Anta, Li-Ning, Peak, and more.
Lonzo Ball of the Los Angeles Lakers and his family have taken a drastically different path as he and his notorious father, LaVar Ball, chose not to sign with any major footwear brands and instead opted to create their own signature sneaker with their own brand. Big Baller Brand started off as an apparel brand for the Ball family and it has grown tremendously with the help of social media and the celebrity status of the three sons in the Ball family, Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo.
Image: Big Baller Brand
Big Baller Brand launched its first shoe in the spring of 2017 with the release of Lonzo’s signature shoe called the ZO2. During this initial release, pre-orders were available of the shoes for a retail price of $495 and it was stated that the shoes would be shipped out later in the year. The shoes were met with mixed reviews as the original design of the ZO2 was seen as a blatant combination of elements from popular shoes including the Nike Kobe series and the adidas CrazyLight Boost.
Big Baller Brand made the decision to receive help from a reputable performance basketball shoe company, Brand Black, for the manufacturing of the redesigned signature shoes of Lonzo. The pair that everyone who pre-ordered ended up receiving, the ZO2: Prime Remix, was a much better looking and performing shoe than its predecessor. Lonzo’s youngest brother, LaMelo, recently dropped out of high school in order to play professional basketball and he also has a signature shoe from Big Baller Brand called the LaMelo 1. The middle child of the family, LiAngelo, is rumoured to have his own signature shoe in the works from Big Baller Brand called the Gelo 3.
Although the business acumen of the Ball family is incredibly respectable, it is hard for anyone to say that the Big Baller Brand products are worth the price. The Big Baller Brand products have ridiculously high retail prices with the ZO2: Prime Remix beginning at $495 and the LaMelo 1 beginning at $395. At those prices, you would expect the performance of the shoes to be unbelievable but it is underwhelming compared to the performance of the basketball shoes from the major brands such as Nike and adidas.
Featured image: Instagram/ @bigballerbrand
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