Unless you follow the National Basketball Association, you’ve probably never heard of LaVar Ball.
Here’s a quick primer: LaVar Ball is the father of Los Angeles Lakers’ rookie, Lonzo Ball, the second pick in this past June’s NBA draft.
Ball is also the head of Big Baller Brand, athletic apparel inspired by his three sons: Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo.
LaMelo is still in high school, while LiAngelo has followed his big bro’s footsteps and will play for UCLA this year.
Lonzo is a rookie making his way in the NBA.
Ever since Lonzo burst on the scene at UCLA, his dad has been hyping him as the next big thing. And that was before anyone saw him play a Division 1 basketball game.
Throughout Lonzo’s short college career, LaVar said to anybody willing to pay attention that his son was going to turn the pro game on its head, even going so far as to say his son would be better than Michael Jordan.
And, thanks to his outlandish claims and desire to hog the spotlight, a lot of us were forced to listen to him. (Thanks ESPN for giving him TV time!)
As he continues to praise his son and rep his Big Baller Brand, I’m reminded of another boisterous and outspoken man who was able to say anything and never pay the consequences.
That man, who shall remain nameless, was able to ascend to his desired position on the strength of his words. Whether or not you believed them was another issue entirely, but you can’t deny they propelled him.
LaVar Ball is doing the same thing, and he’s even dragging other NBA players into the discussion. He’s basically using their Twitter accounts to help promote his brand.
Prior to a game earlier this week, Ball said the Lakers wouldn’t lose again this week, which included a game against one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams, the Washington Wizards.
This caused Wizards center, Marcin Gortat, to take to Twitter (like all sports feuds today) and say his teammate, John Wall, would hound Ball for the entire game, making his life uncomfortable for 48 minutes.
The Lakers won, just like Ball said they would. It doesn’t matter if the Lakers lose their next game. What Ball said has come true so far, and he’ll make sure we know it.
By taking the matter to Twitter, the Wizards became de facto influencers for his son and, by extension, the Big Baller Brand.
Marketing 101 says you need to get people talking about your product, even if it’s in a roundabout sort of way.
Whether you like it or not, LaVar’s sons and his Big Baller Brand are being talked about at the highest levels of the sport, and it’s all because of the way LaVar has marketed the trio: obnoxiously.
But to him, it probably doesn’t matter how he does it, as long as there is buzz.
To him, mission accomplished.