I think I have already expressed that I am a fan of the Ball family. The patriarch, LaVar, is a fascinating person. Above and beyond everything, he is an unabashed family man and I like that about him. Some people think he is the worst thing in sports and others think he is a genius – a sentiment expressed privately to me by Phoenix Suns Head Coach, Earl Watson. I don’t know if he is a genius, but he is not afraid to take on some of the most hallowed institutions in sports, including several NBA legends, the NCAA, ESPN, and Nike. This takes a lot of smarts and an incredible amount of guts. People love risk takers and LaVar is risking a ton with his brash and counter-intuitive approach to almost everything. This week, the sports world went haywire when LaVar announced he is pulling his youngest son, LaMelo, out of high school and will train and educate him at home. The change agents always take the most bullets so it should not be a surprise that LaVar has a lot of critics; he is challenging the status quo that affects the livelihood of a lot of people. But if he remains successful, expect LaVar Ball to go down as a transformative figure in sports history.
Not surprisingly, the Balls launched a “Kardashian-esque” reality TV show on Facebook. What will be surprising to some is that the show is well produced and very entertaining. For more on that, see https://www.facebook.com/ballinthefamily/
The NFL markets its brand as well as any enterprise in the world. I heard a comedian once say that the NFL is so popular, it has its own day. NFL football is huge. Each NFL franchise brings in approximately $400M a year in revenue; almost double the annual revenue of NBA teams and 2 ½ times as much as MLB clubs.