LaVar Ball really burst onto the scene when his oldest son Lonzo joined UCLA with the intention of entering the NBA Draft a year later. With so much popularity around him, LaVar started to become more prominent with some of his hot takes and bold claims regarding his son. Sooner or later, he started becoming a household name and now has two sons in the NBA and one in the G-League.
How Does LaVar Ball Make Money? LaVar Ball currently holds a net worth of $4 million and a lot of that comes from the Big Baller Brand that he created when Lonzo turned professional. It is a sports apparel company that has undergone ups and downs along the way but still provided a pretty good amount of revenue. LaVar also makes money from the Junior Basketball Association, a league that he created for kids who didn’t want to take the traditional college route.
LaVar really is just a relentless businessman who never misses out on an opportunity that comes his way. There is still more to talk about regarding the Big Baller Brand and the JBA league that he created. Along with some more information regarding their current states.
Big Baller Brand
The Big Baller Brand was launched right after LaVar and his sons really started gaining in popularity. When Lonzo was due to be drafted by the Lakers LaVar didn’t want to follow the traditional path to gaining his eldest son endorsements and signature shoe deals. Instead, he was demanding a ridiculous amount of money from the major shoe brands before Lonzo had even been officially drafted. When nobody offered the money he was looking for, he started designing and selling Lonzo’s signature shoe on his own as a brand. He was selling Lonzo’s personalized shoes for $495 each! For comparison, Steph Curry, the league’s reigning UNANIMOUS MVP and all round mega star had just dropped the popular Curry IV with Under Armour, retailing from around $200. The Big Baller Brand also released sandals that went for $220 a pair and autographed sneakers that were going for an average of $995. They also made signature shoes for LaMelo, Lavars youngest son, still in high school at the time. The company had some other issues down the line like with the co-founder Alan Foster. Lonzo himself claimed that Foster embezzled about $1.5 million from the company and chose to cut ties with his father’s brand, which hinged a lot on his own NBA name recognition and salary. Lonzo hardly wore the shoes in his first year in the league, unofficially because they were uncomfortable and not suited to a high level NBA athlete. LaVar still keeps everything running but there was a lot more potential for revenue from the brand if they had done things just a little bit differently early on. Still, can’t fault LaVar for attempting to change the landscape of the shoe game forever and getting close to doing so. Speaking it into existence would become a catch phrase based somewhat in reality for Lavar.
The Junior Basketball Association
The Junior Basketball Association was only able to be created because the Big Baller Brand generated enough revenue. The league was created to allow kids like LaMelo to choose a nontraditional path into the NBA. Meaning they could play there instead of going to college like the large majority of people do nowadays. On top of that, the league knew how to brand. All players that were participating in the newly created league would have to wear some type of Big Baller Brand merchandise. You would constantly be seeing this brand on their shoes or jerseys every game. The league made a good amount of money at first, mostly because it helped the Big Baller Brand, but issues ultimately led to LaVar taking it down in 2019. There were issues that the league was facing regarding the legitimacy of the league. Some felt like it was only created to boost the popularity of Lonzo, LaMelo and LiAngelo while others said that some contracts weren’t being honored early on. Either way, the league had potential when it was created but just didn’t have strong enough ground to stay up and running. It has to be listed here though because LaVar did make good profit and popularity when he put this together.
Ball In The Family
Because of the media attention that LaVar and his family were getting at the time, he decided to go in on a partnership with Facebook. The partnership allowed for a television series called Ball In The Family to air on Facebook and it brought in massive revenue for them. According to LaVar himself, the show has helped them make “millions of dollars.” For some deeper insight into the series, each episode of the first season drew in over 1.2 million views. One of those episodes peaked at a viewership of 26.8 million! Private Facebook groups started to pop up dedicated to the show after it first started and have over 30,000 people in them. This unbelievable amount of popularity that came in after the series first started only helped their brand get stronger. You may not like LaVar Ball or the Big Baller Brand, but you can’t deny that almost all of these moves that we have talked about so far have been incredibly smart from a business standpoint.
LaVar Ball also played football, creating some other revenue possibilities. This was before the Big Baller Brand or anything else started, but he did want to play in the NFL. He played a single year at Long Beach City College as a tight end for the school. Then, he was able to actually get listed as a defensive end with the New York Jets in 1994. Shortly after that, he was off the team and spent some time with the Carolina Panthers during training camp. While on the Panthers, he stuck around long enough for a game to come around. Unfortunately, he missed all the game he could have played in due to injuries. Then, he took his talents back to the Jets and reverted to his tight end position before getting sent down to the World League of American Football to play for the London Monarchs. It was a messy run for LaVar in the NFL and while he never really was able to show what he could do on the big stage, the fact that he can even talk about being semi-involved with two organizations in the NFL is pretty impressive in itself.