Lonzo Ball is back in the news again and, this time, he unveiled his first ever Signature Shoe. On Thursday May Fourth, Lonzo, along with SLAM Magazine unveiled the ZO2 Prime by Big Baller Brand. In case you have not been keeping up with the Ball family Saga, Big Baller Brand is a family owned and operated a company. After failing to reach a deal with one of Nike, Adidas or, Under Armour, having Big Baller Brand enter the shoe game was the next logical choice. It was reported that the three major Athletic Apparel companies declined to sign Ball because of the fact that his father, LaVar Ball, wanted to partner the Big Baller Brand with whichever, company he could get a deal with.
The ZO2 Prime retails for $495 which, is a steep price. Also released by Big Baller Brand were the ZO2 Wet which, are an autographed pair of the ZO2’s that come in and LED Box for $995. If you are looking for a cheaper Big Baller Brand shoe, you can always purchase the ZO2 Slides for $200. With Lonzo, the oldest of three brothers, paving the way for Big Baller Brand, it seems likely that younger brothers LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball will also unveil Signature Shoes in the near future.
At first glance, Lonzo’s new sneakers are priced ridiculously high. According to SLAM, the ZO2 Prime is priced at $495 Dollars Big Baller Brand is “aiming for Lonzo’s signature sneaker to tap into a new market- above the athletic performance kicks from the likes of Nike, Jordan, Adidas Armour, but below the high-end designer shoes of Gucci, Prada and, Louis Vuitton.” Compared to other NBA players with Signature Shoes, Lonzo Ball, a projected lottery pick who has not played an NBA game yet has the most expensive sneaker. LeBron 14’s retail for $175 while Curry 3’s retail for $140 and, KD 9’s retail for $150.
LaVar Ball, has said and, done some crazy things in the past few months however, opting to get into the shoe game is actually a smart business move. First off, his AAU team the “Big Ballers” could end up all repping the ZO2’s which, could draw more interest. Secondly, if LiAngelo and, LaMelo both get signature shoes as well, it could be the beginning of a Big Baller Brand takeover, especially, if LaVar decides to expand the Big Baller Brand beyond his family. Lastly, the demand for sneakers is at an all time high. Dedicated Sneakerheads, Hypebeasts, a well as, devoted basketball fans may have no issue purchasing the shoes for their collections. The price may be high however if Lonzo becomes the NBA Superstar many are hoping for, then those $995 ZO2 Wet are going to spike in resale value.
It is very rare to see a top prospect not sign an endorsement deal with the likes of Nike, Under Armour or Adidas. For Lonzo Ball however, he could be the first athlete whose family literally owns the brand they represent. For LaVar Ball, releasing a signature shoe under his own Big Baller Brand, will surely grow his money making a machine. Once the ZO2 gains traction and popularity it is possible that the price drops however, do not count on these shoes being as in demand as the Adidas Yeezy, a line at least for now. This could be the beginning of a new retail market in between performance athletic wear and, high-end retailers.