Lavar Ball is King
I’m almost 100% positive I don’t have to explain who Lavar Ball is. He is very polarizing and currently one of the top topics of conversation in the NBA and sports world in general. For those of you who aren’t aware of who Lavar Ball is, he’s the father of Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard, Lonzo Ball. Lavar is also the father of high school basketball star Melo Ball, and UCLA Bruin guard LiAngelo Ball. You may have read the title of this post and thought to yourself, “Is the guy who wrote this crazy?” I’ll explain my logic and reasoning on why Lavar Ball is King.
Why is Lavar Ball a King?
Lavar Ball is the King of marketing. He’s disliked by a lot of people because of his brash personality. He has been accused of being arrogant, condescending, and a misogynist who doesn’t respect women. He has been a constant feature on ESPN and FSN sports shows ever since he came on the scene in late 2016. He has debated numerous sports personalities from ESPN First Take’s Stephen A. Smith, Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd, and numerous other TV personalities.
Take away Lonzo Ball and his brothers from the equation, and Lavar Ball is still a very much sought after celebrity in the sports world. Wait! Did I just refer to Lavar Ball as a celebrity? Well, of course he is a celebrity. There are literally thousands of fathers that have a son or daughter that’s involved in either Collegiate sports, professional sports, and even amateur. You can literally count on one hand, the amount of fathers that are recognized as much as Lavar Ball is. Of course, you have some parents of athletes who were Professional athletes themselves, and that is where a lot of their fame and recognition comes from. While Lavar Ball did play professional sports for a short stint, he’s mainly popular and famous because of his personality and the brand in which he and his 3 sons formed: BBB (Big Baller Brand).
Through Big Baller Brand, Lavar’s son Lonzo Ball has his own signature shoe, the ZO2. Lonzo Ball took a detour from going the cliché route of signing with major athletic brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Under Amour. Instead, Lonzo now doing something that’s considered rare in Professional sports. There has been plenty of negative talk regarding Lonzo Ball’s signature shoe, from the way it looks, to the durability of the shoe itself. Even with the negativity regarding the ZO2’s, Big Baller Brand managed to sell 500 pairs of the shoe during its first week. Some people may laugh at those first week numbers, but those numbers are pretty good considering the shoe is priced at $495 US.
Lonzo’s youngest brother Lamelo Ball also has his own signature shoe through Big Baller Brand. Melo’s “Melo Ball 1” shoes are priced $100 dollars less than Lonzo’s ZO2 shoes. Melo Ball is currently in High school, and he’s the first documented High school basketball player with his own shoe. Check out Melo’s commercial for his shoe below:
Lavar Ball has created a brand machine with his 3 sons as the brand’s engine. I have not witnessed anything of this nature in the sports world. In less than two years, a man who wasn’t known by the masses in the sports world has seemingly taken over the sports world. He honestly could and should teach a college marketing class. He has taken the old saying, “No publicity is bad publicity” and turned it into a brand that’s gaining popularity by the day, all without the help of major athletic brands such as Nike and Adidas. For that, Lavar Ball is King.
Photo credits: USA Today, Zimbio, Forbes, Straatosphere.