I have the best idea to change the footwear industry and increase athlete endorsement dollars forever… and it was inspired by Lonzo Ball. Currently, an NBA player signs a contract with one shoe company and exclusively represents that company through the life of the contract. This is the way things are and no one has dared to challenge that until LaVar Ball came around with Big Baller Brand.
I think we all assumed that Lonzo Ball would wear BBB shoes every game and that would be the end of the story. Not so fast, my friend. During the NBA Summer League, Lonzo wore his own BBB shoes, Nikes, UnderArmour, and Adidas. When he was questioned about wearing other brands besides his own Lonzo said, “At BBB, you can play in what you want.”
This got me thinking…
Imagine if Lonzo (and any other unsigned athlete) was an endorsement mercenary. An athlete beholden to no single company but available to all. What if Lonzo literally sold his feet to the highest bidder for all 82 games? If he plays well, the opportunities are endless. I’ve read that shoe companies are offering him in the neighborhood of $5M per season now. That breaks down to around $61,000 per game. I believe he could average more than that over the course of a season being a mercenary. Why wouldn’t a shoe company pay $50-75k per night to get additional eyeballs on its new shoe? Imagine what Lonzo could get for a primetime national TV game. Besides LeBron, no NBA player is talked about more and watched than Lonzo Ball.
The Ball family is one of the top three most discussed topics in U.S. sports every week. The entire Ball family has become polarizing figures due to their outstanding play and their fathers’ showmanship. Approximately 70,000 people watched the youngest Ball play an AAU basketball game on Facebook Live. Some fans watch Lonzo and the Ball family to see them fail and some watch to see them succeed. Either way, eyeballs are glued to everything named Ball.
It’s time for athletes to break the mold. Think outside the box. It’s simple, sitting right at their fingertips and to my knowledge no one has mentioned this before I did here: