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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Sports Business

Patrick Mahomes signs endorsement deal with Oakley

Patrick Mahomes

The Kansas City Chiefs are expected to make Patrick Mahomes a very, very rich man at some point in the near future, and the star quarterback is cashing in on his breakout season in other ways in the meantime.

As Ian Rapoport of NFL Media noted on Thursday, Mahomes has landed an endorsement deal with Oakley. He was featured in a recent ad spot with New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge and others.

Mahomes will be eligible to sign a contract extension with the Chiefs after the 2019 season, and we have already heard some insane figures thrown around for what they might pay him. His agent also said recently that the 23-year-old intentionally avoided the spotlight before he became a superstar, so it makes sense that he is now capitalizing on his opportunities.

Look: Patrick Mahomes covers up Under Armour logo with adidas sticker

Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes attended Monday night’s National Championship Game to watch his alma mater take on Virginia. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback was shown by CBS in the stands supporting Texas Tech and even flexing and dancing:

One of the things that stood out about Mahomes was the shirt he was wearing. Texas Tech is an Under Armour school, while Mahomes is sponsored by adidas. The MVP quarterback addressed that by covering up the Under Armour logo with a sticker where he wrote adidas.

When you’re an MVP quarterback and have a sponsor, this comes with a territory, as we’ve seen many times before.

You can’t blame Mahomes for improvising.

Zion Williamson has interest from seven shoe companies

Zion Williamson

What team ends up drafting Zion Williamson is the most intriguing question surrounding the Duke star. But it’s not the only big one that will be answered in the coming months.

Another major question about Williamson is with what shoe company he ends up signing. According to ESPN’s Nick DePaula, seven different shoe companies have interest in Williamson. In his original report on the matter, DePaula speculated that Williamson could receive offers from six different brands: Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, New Balance, Puma and Anta.

During an appearance on ESPN’s “The Jump” Thursday, DePaula said he has talked to a seventh company that wants to be involved in the bidding for Williamson. He says that the brand is Chinese, like Anta. One company reportedly is willing to offer $10 million a year for Williamson.

Williamson is worth that kind of investment. Not only is he a talented, athletic player, but he also seems to have great character. He has a tremendous following that is only growing and is already a star. And while Nike seems like it could make sense, don’t discount another brand in the mix.

BIG3, CBS announce TV deal beginning this summer

The BIG3 basketball league has quickly gained popularity since it was co-founded by Ice Cube two years ago, and fans will be able to enjoy the upcoming season on network television.

On Thursday, the BIG3 and CBS Sports announced that they have signed a deal to bring BIG3 games to CBS and CBS Sports Network on Saturdays and Sundays beginning June 22.

Ice Cube described the new partnership as a “big deal” for the league.

“Since day 1, BIG3 has always been about hard-nosed, fierce competition. Now we’re ramping it up with more teams, younger players, and a shiny new TV deal with CBS Sports,” he said in a press release. “Our first two years were about showing that our vision was credible. This year is about taking the game to a whole new level. This is a big deal.”

The BIG3 has attracted more and more star power since its inaugural season in 2017. New players who will join the 3-on-3 league this year include former NBA stars Joe Johnson, Jason Terry, Al Jefferson and Gilbert Arenas. Amar’e Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer, Metta World Peace and Stephen Jackson are among the returning players, with Lamar Odom also continuing along his path to remain sober by playing in the BIG3.

Ice Cube has tried and failed to land one of the greatest players of all time for the BIG3, but the league is obviously doing plenty right. Unlike the AAF, which signed a deal with CBS before having ever held a game, the BIG3 has been around for two years. That should make a big difference.

Look: Lonzo Ball covers up Big Baller Brand tattoo

Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball is moving on from Big Baller Brand and means business.

The Los Angeles Lakers guard had his Big Baller Brand logo tattoo covered up. His tattoo artist, Herchell Carrasco, posted a photo on Instagram showing the work he did to cover up the logo on the back of Ball’s forearm, near his elbow. The artist converted the BBB logo to dice that display the numbers 1, 2 and 3 — the numbers Lonzo and each of his brothers wear on the court.

This is the latest twist in a series of moves where Lonzo has distanced himself from Big Baller Brand. He broke ties with a Big Baller Brand co-founder after seeing $1.5 million go missing. He then posted on Instagram a hint at leaving BBB for Nike.

There is now even chatter that Big Baller Brand has considered folding. The brand was created by LaVar Ball, the outspoken father of Lonzo and his two other brothers, LiAngelo and LaMelo. Though LaVar once looked like king of the world while Lonzo starred at UCLA and the two other boys had scholarships there, things started unraveling one piece at a time. The family’s efforts to build their own brand seemed successful, but Lonzo appears to feel he is better off elsewhere.

Lonzo Ball hints on Instagram at leaving Big Baller Brand for Nike

Lonzo Ball

Friday’s news about Lonzo Ball potentially losing $1.5 million due to the mishandling by a Big Baller Brand co-founder may have been the prelude to an even bigger announcement.

Ball hinted on Instagram Saturday that he could be leaving Big Baller Brand for Nike. The post included a photo of him in a Nike Lakers jersey, along with a Nike motto: “It’s only a crazy dream until you do it.”

View this post on Instagram

Moving on to bigger and better #MyOwnMan

A post shared by Lonzo Ball (@zo) on

The caption was equally significant. “Moving on to bigger and better #MyOwnMan” suggests he is moving on and also not afraid to leave the brand/vision created by his father.

Had Ball announced out of nowhere that he was leaving Big Baller Brand, many would have wondered why. Now people have somewhat of a better understanding after learning about Ball’s issues with one of the company co-founders.

In general, distancing himself from his outspoken father may prove helpful for his career.

Zion Williamson to wear Nike Kyrie 4 shoes in first game since blowout

Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson is changing things up in his return from his high-profile shoe blowout last month.

Williamson will be lacing up the Nike Kyrie 4 to start the ACC Tournament against Syracuse. Duke shared a photo on Twitter Thursday that shows Williamson in his new shoes.

Williamson previously wore the Nike PG 2.5 PE, which is the Paul George shoe. He was wearing that model when his shoe tore apart in the first minute of Duke’s game against North Carolina on Feb. 20. Williamson missed the remainder of the regular season and is returning to action in the conference tournament.