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Lonzo Ball’s Shoe Sells A Lot Less Than Anticipated, But Is That The Real Point?

Isn’t the fact that we’re still talking about Big Baller Brand the real point?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional-Kentucky vs UCLA Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

So, you may have heard that Big Baller Brand (the Ball family apparel company) released Lonzo Ball’s first signature shoe last week.

There’s a lot to break down here, obviously. There’s that price tag of $495, the fact that they look pretty similar to Kobe’s signature shoe line without the Nike logo, the fact that Big Baller Brand is doing this independently of the major shoe companies, the fact that LaVar hasn’t declared that the ZO2s would lead to world peace. The SBNation mothership’s Dayana Sarkisova has a pretty good breakdown of all of this and why it’s really an ambitious gamble for the Balls.

Today, more news dropped regarding the ZO2 shoes. Mike Halfhill over at Nice Kicks, which is a pretty great site if you want to follow the sneaker game, did some investigating and is reporting that less than 300 pairs of the signature shoe sold during the first day of pre-orders, netting a bit over $150,000 in revenue on that first day. Now, that $150,000 is very clearly less than the millions in revenue that a few places were reporting.

So, what should we make of this? Well, the first thing is that Big Baller Brand still managed to make $150,000 in revenue for the first day of pre-orders on a $495 independently-made shoe. That is still impressive, especially considering Lonzo has yet to even be drafted to an NBA team, let alone play a single game. It’d be enough to wonder how many more ZO2s would have sold if the price was lower.

But, more importantly, we’re still talking about Lonzo Ball, LaVar Ball, the Ball Family, and Big Baller Brand. The ZO2 launch was never about making a legitimate play at selling a shoe on the level that other major NBA players have, but, when you put the shoe release in the context of LaVar’s quest for a billion-dollar partnership deal for Big Baller Brand with a major apparel company, it begins to make sense. LaVar is trying to show there’s a market for products with the Ball family name on it and, so far, he is succeeding.

Lonzo’s shoe is getting support from parts of the sports world and the Big Baller Brand gets even more exposure while still making a solid amount of money. That’s not a bad deal by any stretch, even if the release of the ZO2 was much smaller than anticipated. It continues to look like LaVar’s (often annoying) strategy of media exposure is still paying off.