Shoe companies walk away from deal with Lonzo Ball
Lonzo Ball will not be getting an endorsement deal from any of the three major shoe and apparel companies.
Ball’s father LaVar said that Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas are all passing on deals, with sources for the companies confirming that to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
While certainly unusual for these companies to avoid one of the likely top picks in the NBA Draft, LaVar Ball was demanding that the companies license his Big Baller Brand, and already presented suitors with a prototype Lonzo Ball shoe.
“We’ve said from the beginning, we aren’t looking for an endorsement deal,” LaVar said. “We’re looking for co-branding, a true partner. But they’re not ready for that because they’re not used to that model. But hey, the taxi industry wasn’t ready for Uber, either.
“Just imagine how rich Tiger (Woods), Kobe (Bryant), Serena (Williams), (Michael) Jordan and LeBron (James) would have been if they dared to do their own thing. No one owned their own brand before they turned pro. We do and I have three sons so it’s that much more valuable.”
LaVar said the next step will be speaking to the Chinese brands, and even floated the possibility of joining up with a company like Facebook to achieve his ambitions.
It was pretty clear from these comments that LaVar Ball was going to have a hard time selling his ideas to these companies. He may ultimately wind up on his own.