Lonzo Ball's shoes made $150,000 on the first day

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Budding athletic apparel company Big Baller Brand sold 263 pairs of its debut sneakers on Sunday, totaling $157,685 in sales, according to Nice Kicks’ Matt Halfhill. Big Baller Brand is, of course, the product of LaVar Ball and his sons, budding basketball stars. With Lonzo Ball being the first Ball son free of the NCAA’s demands for amateurism, the company launched his debut sneaker with a $495 price tag, something that was met with much amusement online.

Of course, there’s also reason to believe that LaVar Ball knows exactly what he’s doing, and SB Nation’s Dayana Sarkisova laid out exactly how it could work. Does the company’s opening day in shoe sales mean Big Baller Brand’s on the right path? Well, yes and no. It really just depends on what way you look at it.

If I were LaVar Ball, this is what I would tell you:

We made $157,685 in one day! Has anyone ever made that much money in one day? Probably not. IF YOU CAN’T MAKE $157,000 IN A DAY YOU’RE PROBABLY NOT A BIG BALLER.

Three months ago, nobody knew about us. Now we have current and former NFL stars like Michael Bennett and Chad Ochocinco buying our products.


By the way, my son is already a better rapper than Kendrick Lamar. And Tupac. He’s like those two combined, but better.

Here’s a more reasonable take.

For a tiny startup company that has paved its way almost entirely through social media exposure and word of mouth — albeit word of mouth on ESPN shows and sports website headlines like this one here — then making $150,000 on its first day of selling a signature shoe is impressive. Think about it and remember that Lonzo Ball hasn’t even been drafted yet. He doesn’t even have an NBA fan base backing him yet, or the pedigree of being a top-two pick, or any of that. I doubt many, if any, athletes have recorded $150,000 in revenue before even being drafted.

While 263 is a small number for a Nike or Adidas or even some lesser-known brands, you’re asking for $495 per pair. This isn’t going to be a shoe that’s flying off the wall. There’s only going to be a certain market for it, and it appears it is reaching that market so far.

On the other hand, these shoes are almost certainly being produced locally, meaning the manufacturing rate is higher and the revenue rate lower. Big Baller Brand definitely didn’t crack six figures in revenue on Sunday, it’s safe to say. Selling $150,000 is light years behind the companies LaVar Ball thinks Big Baller Brand can compete with, even if they did OK by their standards.

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