The three major sporting apparel companies don’t want Lonzo Ball.
Nike, Under Armour and Adidas are not interested in an endorsement deal with the UCLA point guard who is projected to be a top draft pick, ESPN reported Friday morning. Lonzo’s father, LaVar Ball, previously said he wanted a billion dollar shoe deal for Lonzo and his other two sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo, who are still playing in high school.
“That’s our number, a billion, straight out of the gate,” LaVar had said. “And you don’t even have to give it to me all up front. Give us $100 million over 10 years.”
However in meetings with the three companies, LaVar instead pitched that each company license his Big Baller Brand from him, while showing off a shoe prototype that he’s been designing “since (his) boys were born,” the report said. The company sells merchandise like hats, sweatshirts and T-shirts featuring the Big Baller Brand logo.
“We’ve said from the beginning, we aren’t looking for an endorsement deal,” LaVar recently told ESPN. “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.”
LaVar added that he’ll now be reaching out to Chinese brands: Peak, Li-Ning and Anta.
“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,” LaVar said. “No one owned their own brand before they turned pro. We do and I have three sons so it’s that much more valuable.”