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Watching the marketing moves of an L.A. sensation

Lonzo Ball and his Big Baller Brand have something in common: neither has appeared on an NBA court in a game that counts. For Lonzo, it's just a matter of time until the Los Angeles Lakers are led onto the hardwood by their prized rookie. It's assumed that his first step into the league will be with feet decked out in this Big Baller brand shoes.

But it won't be the shoes that were not long ago introduced to the public with fanfare by the hoopster's dad. That model has already been scrapped. Instead, Big Baller has rolled out a replacement shoe before pre-paying customers even had their initial orders filled.

Speculation in the media -- and in social media by James Harden and others -- is that Lonzo (aka Zo) discovered that his own shoes weren't particularly helpful in preseason rookie games. Speculation also revolved around the possibility that Zo and company were simply engaged in a clever marketing strategy designed to pique interest in upstart sneakers trying to kick their way into a crowded footwear world.

Zo wore his family's branded shoes in just the first two games of the Summer League before switching to other brands.

Will the "remix" of the Big Baller shoes generate enough interest to spur sales before its November ship date? No one knows. Even the shoe-obsessed Slam Online is unsure of which way the wind is blowing.

The publication does note that those who pre-ordered the original Big Baller shoes can expect to receive a set of the redesigned shoes. If they preferred the old and abandoned design, they can get a refund of the purchase price.

Any which way you look at it, Lonzo, his dad and his gifted hoops-playing younger brothers have found a way to get everyone talking about shoes no one has worn yet. And publicity is certainly an important part of successful merchandising.

Other aspects of marketing success are ensured with the help of an effective attorney experienced in negotiating and analyzing contracts, protecting intellectual property and broadening marketing opportunities.

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