Source: Big Baller Brand
I attempt to keep this website above the fray. I don’t like to delve into clickbait topics and I try my best to discuss real business and marketing aspects. My business depends on this as I provide content management and marketing analysis based on my experience in the footwear industry.
I’ve avoided any mention of the Ball family and their endeavors into footwear. I wasn’t avoiding it because I thought it was foolish or that they couldn’t sell their shoes. I avoided the discussion because everyone else is writing about it and if I couldn’t add anything to the conversation without having seen the product then it didn’t make sense to drop my voice in on the dialogue.
Now that the official shoe has dropped I can add my two cents.
First, Lavar Ball has every right to participate in the life of his kids. I have no comment on that. His decision to co-brand with one of the big three was a logical step that would make sense about 5 years from now, or even three years from now if Lonzo is
- A Top 5 Draft Pick
- Rookie of the Year
- Helps Turn Around A Franchise
- Third Year All Star
- Assists Leader in his fourth year
At this point he becomes a viable candidate for a brand to consider co-branding a shoe in the brand’s line. In other words instead of a Lonzo logo on a Player Exclusive then they could have utilized the BBB (which is a really bad name and one of the reasons I think they’re trolling us… Better Business Bureau anyone? Which is a bit of irony because the Ball family is definitely in need of a better business approach, but this is kind of off topic. Why do I think they are trolling us?
I made my own shoes. I took the time to design my own footwear so I can speak about this with a different level of professionalism. I’m posting this picture below as a reference point. When you design a shoe you have to pay for a sample. This is common knowledge. What isn’t common knowledge is that in order to create the outsole you have to pay for a mold for the rubber and outsole components. This mold typically handles sizes 8-12. Any size above or below is a different mold cost. I’ve never understood this aspect.
Anyway, when you work with a Chinese manufacturer they will always try to push you into creating a shoe utilizing outsoles that exist. The reason is because they already have the materials available. They also typically copy the style of popular shoes and they have the styles readily available. All they have to do is add a logo. On my most recent shoe I utilized an Encap New Balance styled outsole. The New Balance had been removed from the outsole.
Note: If you look at the picture of the ZO2 it doesn’t have a side panel logo. This is because manufacturers have the panels created sans logo. They can then run the panels through a machine to add whatever logo there is to add. In this instance your shoe won’t have a logo on the side if you don’t want it too. The BBB is added to the heel counter embossed. Embossing a logo is easier than stitching or embroidering a logo. It’s literally stamping/pressing or gluing a logo on. As a matter of fact many counterfeit shoes ship without the logo affixed to the shoe so the shoes can make it through customs. The manufacturer will mail you a Swoosh and you can affix it when it arrives which creates a hilarious fake…
Note: The ZO2 does not have a logo on the side panel. This is because there isn’t a logo. (Once again they have to be trolling us.) The real reason it doesn’t have a logo? The shoe is basically the upper from the Kobe 4 without the sections. In the picture above I added a fake copy of the Kobe 4 from Chinese company B.One. Note the direct ripoff of the Kobe 4. It’s important that you see this because I’m establishing that shoes are always, always knocked off in China.
Note: I’m saying the ZO2 is a Kobe knockoff, but in actuality it’s a blend of the Kobe line and the Adidas Crazylight Boost. Note the ZO2 has the same outsole design as the Crazylight. The only difference of course is that adidas hasn’t added ColorBOOST to basketball shoes yet, hence the description on the Big Baller Brand website of “Custom Hand Paint and DeLorean finish”. (Again this has to be a trolling move.)
Note: I could write point 4, but note just sounds cooler. Look at the heel counter. While I’m one of the main people who will say that technology is overrated in footwear, heel counters in today’s shoes actually do function for lockdown. The ZO2 doesn’t have a TPU heel counter. Both the Crazylight and Kobe have TPU because it prevents the heel from shifting inside of the shoe on cuts and drives to the basket. While you can play in almost any shoe if you have professional trainers, orthotics and enough tape, this shoe isn’t even a very good knock off. Even the Kobe knock off from B.One has the TPU heel counter.
Finally, I have to revisit the outsole and the almost direct jack move from adidas. That’s like the ultimate troll.
The price on these shoes for a pre-order almost guarantees that there won’t be a single order placed. This allows for the BBB to state that demand wasn’t big enough and Zo will play in one of the three brands, probably adidas as it’s the shoe the UCLA team wore this season and they also sponsor the younger kids travel and high school teams.
The ZO2 Prime could possibly work. The problem is everything that is being done is so outrageous that it can’t be real. I refuse to think it is. Who creates a brand with 3Bs? That’s copyright infringement as soon as the brand is big enough to hit with a lawsuit. We’re being trolled and I won’t say anything else about this on my site.