LaVar Ball and Lonzo Ball released their first signature shoe, the Z02, this week, just a week after Adidas, Nike and Under Armour passed on licensing the Big Baller Brand. The shoe comes with a price tag of $495.
On Undisputed on Friday, Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless sounded off on the exorbitant price tag.
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The price point is way off
"Yeah, it costs too much. Now, I don't have a problem with him coming up with his own brand, trying to market and make himself money. We live in a capitalist society, and people are always trying to innovate, people sell things all the time.
But Skip, the thing that I'm going to say is something retailers say all the time: price point. The price point is way, way off. You can't charge, as an upstart, way, way more than what established shoe companies are charging. The Jordan, the LeBron, the Kyrie, the Curry ... this shoe is two to three times the cost of what established NBA players' shoes cost, with the backing of the established NBA brands. I don't understand what he was trying to go for.
Then to say, well, if you can't afford these shoes, then you ain't a baller. Can you imagine Mercedes saying that? I think people will say, nah, I'm not fixing to pay $500 for shoes."
LaVar should have worked with the big brands
"I think [LaVar] rubbed a lot of the big brands the wrong way. He said, 'I want a billion dollars. You don't have to give it to me all at once. You can give it to me $100 million over ten years.'
That wasn't the right way to work. He should have said that he'd love to work with the big brands, and hopefully we can come to something that my son, my brand, my shoe, I have a prototype of my own."
Richard MacksonRichard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
This could be an epic fail for LaVar Ball
"I hear you. I think this could be an epic fail for LaVar Ball. But my step back perspective is: Somehow, LaVar Ball continues to make himself the biggest story in sports. He's made himself bigger than NBA playoff stories. Over the last 24 hours, he's made himself the biggest story in sports.
Seriously, two months ago, I didn't know who LaVar Ball was. I knew who Lonzo was, but I didn't know about his dad. And now, this man has the cachet, or hutzpah, to dare to launch his own sneaker line after thumbing his nose after Nike, Under Armour, Adidas. And he said, forget you, forget you, watch this.
And he has launched his own line, and immediately in 24 hours has generated publicity that Nike, Under Armour and Adidas would be in awe of generating in 24 hours. Because everyone is talking about this one shoe that is six months away from debuting."
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It's a creative marketing scheme, but will it work?
"I'm in awe. Every talk show in America is having a ball with a LaVar Ball. That's all anyone is talking about.
My stepback here is: I'm trying to figure out how he's doing this. This is an incredibly creative marketing scheme that he's trying to pull off. He's saying, 'OK, it's going to cost you 500 bucks to merely reserve some of the original sneakers that are going to hit the market in six months. And by the way, if you send me that 500 bucks, no refunds. No money back.'
He will have your 500 dollars. If he sells 1,000 in the next week or so, because people want to be apart of something cool -- and they do look pretty cool to me! I like the black. Vanderbilt colors!
If 1,000 people buy these shoes, that gives him $500,000 in seed money to produce these shoes. So then he makes X number originally, to satisfy the original 1,000, and then you're off to the races."
LaVar has a headstart thanks to the internet
"I don't think he's crazy, Skip. If you remember Phil Knight when he started Nike he was selling shoes out of the trunk of his car. LaVar Ball has a headstart. He's on the internet. We're already talking about it. So basically, for Nike to get there, it was word of mouth.
... I just have to say, could he have done better if he had handled those relationships better? What would this shoe sell if there was a Swoosh on the side?"