For Foot Locker, Lonzo Ball Takes Humorous, But Real, Swipe At Dad LaVar
Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 11:17AM in Foot Locker, LaVar Ball, Lonzo Ball, NBA, NBA, NBA Draft, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

June 14, 2017: Father’s Day is June 18, and the NBA Draft is scheduled for June 22, national sports retailer Foot Locker is celebrating both with a group of young players expected to be among the top incoming NBA rookies.

The premise: No player makes it to Draft night on his own. For Father’s Day, we asked a few of this year’s top prospects to reflect on everything their Dads have done to support them on their journey.

De’Aaron Fox, Jayson Tatum and Jonathan Isaac recall fond memories with their respective dads — "One-on-one games in the driveway that he let me win . . . Never missing a game . . . Waking up early to drive to tournaments . . . Fishing . . . "

But when Lonzo Ball gets his turn in "Father’s Day," the humorous spot takes an unexpected turn.

"There’s that day when your dad berates your high school coach in front of the entire crowd for not giving you enough touches,” Ball says of his father, LaVar, who has earned a reputation for being outspoken and brazen when it comes to gloating in public about the talent of son LaVar and his future in the NBA.

"Shouting back and forth on (ESPN’s) First Take with Stephen A. Smith about how you’re already better than the reigning MVP," Ball continues.

The spot, part of Foot Locker's "Approved" platform, breaks today and will air nationally on ESPN during the live broadcast of the 2017 NBA Draft on June 22.

Support includes Internet, social media and POP.

Lead agency is BBDO.

"Foot Locker has heritage in basketball culture and the NBA Draft. We are proud to have made a tradition of working with top athletes to have fun with some of the biggest sports moments and trending news," Stacy Cunningham, vp-brand marketing and services for Foot Locker North America, said in a statement.

"It's exciting to work with these talented young players during this momentous time in their careers, and honor the important father-son relationship around Father's Day."

Ball is expected to be among the top picks on June 22, with hoops analysts predicting he would be drafted No. 2 overall by the Los Angeles Lakers.

LaVar Ball has indicated that son Lonzo would not do any pre-draft workouts for any team except the Lakers.

The 19-year-old Lonzo, whose family lives in the Los Angeles area, played his rookie college season at UCLA before declaring himself eligible for the NBA Draft.

His father recently released a signature line of basketball shoes for Lonzo, which retail for $495, under LaVar’s Big Baller Brand. That was after Nike, adidas and Under Armour rejected his $1 billion offer to sign Lonzo to a shoe deal.

In the spot, LaVar remembers more about his dad.

"The moment when you’re dad sits you down and tells you where you’re going to college . . . When he copy-writes your name to make it part of a family lifestyle brand . . . All those interviews from the stands . . .  Public spats with all-time greats . . .  Sound bites with national media . . . Telling 29 out of 30 teams not to bother drafting you . . . "

"Shouting back and fourth on (ESPN’s) First Take with Stephen A. Smith about how you’re already better than the reigning MVP."

in the spot, Fox, Isaac and Tatum are each wearing gear from Foot Locker's top brands, including items from Nike, Jordan and adidas.

Ball is seen in a T-shirt with text, "Born in Springfield, Raised in LA" from new lifestyle brand RAISED, which will be available in select Foot Locker stores and online later this summer.

According to LaVar, "The NBA Draft is a milestone I've been working toward for a long time and it's exciting to celebrate it with a Foot Locker commercial. I loved last year's spot with Ben Simmons and D'Angelo Russell and I love how they give us players the opportunity to make light out of things.

"It's been a big year for my family, and I know we're just getting started. My dad and I both love the humor of the spot and I'm glad I got to have a little fun around the topic before going to the league,” said Ball.

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