BREAKING: Nike, Under Armour & Adidas Pass on Signing Lonzo Ball Because of LaVar Ball
Back in March, LaVar Ball stated boldly that he planned to leverage a big time deal from a sneaker company and he wants an insane amount of money.
“During the interview, Ball also said he is prepared to package Lonzo and his two other sons — LiAngelo, a high school senior who has signed with UCLA, and LaMelo, a high school sophomore who has committed to UCLA — for a marketing deal with Nike, Adidas or Under Armour.
“A billion dollars, it has to be there,” Ball said. “That’s our number, a billion, straight out of the gate. And you don’t even have to give it to me all up front. Give us $100 mil over 10 years.”
Fast forward to April and neither of those things will be happening as NIKE, ADIDAS, & Under Armour passed on a potential endorsement deal with Lonzo Ball because of his father’s demands, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
“Ball’s father, LaVar, confirmed that the three shoe and apparel companies informed him they were not interested in completing a deal with his son. Sources with the three companies told ESPN.com that they indeed were moving on.
Never in the history of modern-day shoe endorsements have the big companies all stepped away from a potential top pick nearly two months before the NBA draft. But LaVar, who has been representing Lonzo in the deal, has offered something that has no precedent.
In his meetings with all three companies, LaVar insisted that they license his upstart Big Baller Brand from him, according to the companies. He also showed the companies a shoe prototype that he hoped would be Lonzo’s first shoe.
“We’ve said from the beginning, we aren’t looking for an endorsement deal,” LaVar 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.”