In the basketball world, everyone knows Lebron is king. And with that title comes with scrutiny, fame, and of course sneaker endorsements. Lebron has his own signature shoe, as does players like Kyrie and James Harden. Of course everyone is trying to catch up with Jordan, the originator and still the leading signature shoe years after he retired. One such player will be entering the draft later this year and has already dropped his own signature shoe. So what company had the balls (pun intended) to sign a player that hasn’t even been drafted? Well, its a long story.
Lonzo Ball is forecasted to be one of the highest draft picks this year. While his play has earned him plenty of praise on the court, its his father Lavar and his many antics that have earned greater attention off the court. One such announcement was made saying he was seeking a $1 billion dollar endorsement from Nike, Adidas, or Under Armour for the rights to endorse Lonzo and his brothers. Of course, the companies declined. So Lavar did what any sensible person would do…he created his own company to produce his son’s signature shoe.
Big Baller Brand’s (yes that is the real name) first signature shoe for Lonzo Ball is aptly named the ZO2. Retailing for a ridiculous $495, it is by far the most expensive basketball shoe released. Even Jordan brand hasn’t hit that price, releasing a $400 shoe last year made with premium fabrics and materials. Shoes like that aren’t meant to be played in.
If you are tuned into the world of sneakers at all, these prices are nothing new. Slowly but steadily, sneakers have been going up and up in price over the years. For example, Kevin Durant has had a signature shoe with Nike for years. One of his most popular shoes, the KD4, retailed at only $95 when they released in 2011. This was affordable, even for basketball standards. That was then. Nowadays, Lebron’s shoes retail for about $200, with certain “Elite” editions going for even more. But nothing has reached the level of the ZO2.
It will be interesting to see how athletes and consumers will respond. The shoes won’t release until November, coinciding with the NBA season. You better start saving now if you want to snag a pair. Apparently I am not a “BIG BALLER”, but I’m okay with that.