Big Baller Brand, an apparel company founded by LaVar Ball to feature his basketball-playing sons Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo, has reportedly failed to reach a partnership agreement with Chinese company Anta.
On Friday, Nick DePaula of ESPN.com reported Anta “declined repeated requests” from Big Baller Brand for follow-up discussions after an initial set of conversations during which BBB focused on a “private label manufacturing concept.”
The report also noted Ball is no longer in active discussions with major brands Nike, Adidas and Under Armour about his proposed “co-branded partnership” offers.
Last month, Ball penned an article for Slam where he discussed the motivation for trying to create his own company rather than going the traditional sponsorship route.
“Big Baller Brand wants to show the next generation that there’s a difference between building wealth and just being rich,” he wrote. “This isn’t about getting that early money—just another athlete signing a regular endorsement deal. That would have been the easier route. But we’ve embarked on a mission. We want to go beyond just inspiring athletes. It’s about those small business owners that stay up at night plotting their next move and figuring out how to stay afloat.”
Ball added: “We just want to inspire people and show them that there’s a different lane you can travel in. It’s OK to step out and do it another way. Only a select few will do it, but folks will start creating their own brands, like we’ve done with BBB, and more and more families will begin feeling comfortable with betting on themselves.”
DePaula noted the 700-plus orders for ZO2 shoes—Lonzo’s signature shoe as he gets prepared for his rookie season with the Los Angeles Lakers —”beat out the expectations of several rival industry sources.” But BBB continues to seek a partner to help with “resources and manufacturing capabilities.”
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