The battle of the blowhards between everybody’s loud-ass uncle and white America’s racist grandpa has reached a fever pitch. LaVar Ball’s unwillingness to bow down to Donald Trump has spurred an endless stream of media reports and interviews, prompting Trump to lash out at Ball for his refusal to admit that Ball’s son would be on the next season of Locked Up Abroad without the Great White Help.
It could also make Ball a very rich man.
ESPN’s sports business reporter Darren Rovell reports that Trump may have inadvertently given Ball’s Big Baller Brand millions in free publicity. If there’s anyone who knows about getting attention for having a big mouth, it’s our current commander in chief. Analysts in the sports-marketing industry have estimated that the ad value gained by the Big Baller Brand since Monday is worth more than $13 million.
According to Yahoo Sports, the Ball-Trump feud is not just intriguing but also a bit of marketing genius on the part of Ball. Eric Smallwood, president of Apex Marketing Group, tracked the number of mentions that the Big Baller Brand has received in the media since the feud began and compared it with the typical ad rates:
“This back and forth with Donald Trump has extended the brand awareness outside of just sports,” Smallwood explained. “People who don’t follow sports are starting to get more awareness of the brand. To have that reaction from someone as high up as Trump, it has definitely helped [the Big Baller Brand] reach a larger audience.”
LaVar’s son LiAngelo Ball, along with two UCLA basketball teammates, was arrested for shoplifting sunglasses in a Louis Vuitton store in China, but the three were released by Chinese officials. Trump claims that he intervened on behalf of the players, but LaVar Ball won’t admit it, prompting a furious barrage of tweets from the mango maniac.
Like Trump, Ball is not known for his quiet humility. LaVar has since appeared on CNN, Fox News, ESPN and various other news outlets, mostly dismissing Trump’s claims. While he may seem as if he is gone off the Patrón to many observers, the boost to his business is apparent to experts.
“It’s getting Ball’s face out there to an audience that had either never heard of him or had heard of him but didn’t know a lot about him,” said Bob Dorfman, executive director of Baker Street Advertising. “If exposure is half the problem, then I think it’s got to help.”
While a pair of $495 sneakers might not be on most people’s Christmas list, I’d be willing to buy a pair or two if it meant I never had to see another “Make America Great Again” hat again.
Read more at Yahoo! Sports.