Marketing Genius or Logo Plagiarism? An NJ Agency Weighs In
Earlier this May, Big Baller Brand (BBB), brainchild of father-agent LaVar Ball, debuted the ZO2 sneaker. It’s safe to say people noticed–particularly meme merchants and e-haters. The sneaker is the 2017 NBA Draft-eligible Lonzo Ball’s first foray into the ultra-competitive athletic footwear domain. Its $495 price tag brought jeers, sneers, and uproarious laughter from the Twittersphere. Read on to get our hot take: an NJ Marketing Agency on Logo Plagiarism, social media marketing, brand building, and where they all intersect.
The elder Ball, is always a lightning rod for criticism towards his brand and son. His response to the price backlash was predictably inflammatory. “If you can’t afford the ZO2’s [sic], you’re NOT a BIG BALLER.” As an NJ Marketing Agency, the story gives us a chance to look at logo plagiarism, social media marketing, and more.
The Twitter Mob Laces Up
We, (the Internet and I) reveled in our smug satisfaction that can only be achieved from watching a Twitter Mob work a public figure into a tizzy. But a question remained in the headspace of this avid logo nit-picker: did LaVar Ball and BBB plagiarize Overwatch?
For those of you with social lives, Overwatch is a wildly-popular, team-based first-person shooter game. As of this writing, it’s celebrating its one-year anniversary. It has over 30 million players across the globe. Its logo is instantly recognizable. The Overwatch emblem has found a home on damn near every tchotchke and knick-knack, whether in Hot Topic, Etsy, or countless fan art sites. It’s so recognizable, in fact, that it’s ALL I can see when I look at the ZO2 logo. The ZO2 logo looks like a third-party app developed for Overwatch that’s going to upload some malicious Trojan.
Regardless of which you believe is better, the similarity is uncanny. For BBB to overlook the Overwatch logo after the game had been on the market for almost a year is pretty damning. One could argue that the overlap between athletic shoes and luminescent gamers who’ve never worn running shoes (or possibly, never ran) is minimal. But both die-hard gamers and sneakerheads have mammoth footprints online. Was it intentional? Unlikely. It’s just another goofy gaffe for LaVar Ball and co. Still, people are talking. Which seems to be Big Baller Brand’s M.O.