$200,000,000 Lawsuit Knocks on LaVar and LaMelo Ball’s Doorsteps

Published 11/09/2023, 8:37 AM EST

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The ties between the Ball family and Big Baller Brand co-founder Alan Foster continue to sour. Four years after alleging that LaVar Ball used BBB’s money to afford his luxurious lifestyle, he is dragging the Ball family to court once again. In 2016, Alan Foster came up with the idea to start the Big Baller Brand. However, things took a turn for the worse when Alan Foster failed to account for $1.5 million in earnings. This financial discrepancy prompted Lonzo to cut all ties with the once-close family friend.

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But Alan Foster is not the one to back down. He is back to haunt the family once again with a fresh set of allegations. As per recent reports, co-founder of Big Baller Brand, Alan Foster has decided to sue LaVar, Tina and LaMelo Ball, as well as sportswear giant PUMA. The $200,000,000 lawsuit encompasses accusations of trademark infringement, unfair business practices, and, notably, fraud.

LaMelo and LaVar Ball in $200 million trouble

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Foster and LaVar’s relationship strengthened after their sons became good friends in seventh grade. This camaraderie evolved into a business partnership after Alan Foster pitched the concept of the Big Baller Brand in 2016. Foster, LaVar Ball, and Tina Ball each held a 33 percent ownership stake in the Ball Sports Group. However, the lawsuit contends that Foster was barred from receiving any profits or proceeds from the venture.

 

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As per Foster, he laid the groundwork for the success of LaMelo’s “MB1” shoe line after he came up with the idea when Melo was in high school. However, after the family ousted him in 2019 due to financial tensions, they recreated a second version of BBB using trademarked properties that Foster had helped create. This was done with the motive of cutting him out of the “huge profits” from the successful brand that gained popularity because of Foster’s “marketing efforts and business acumen”. According to reports, Foster alleges that he has sustained upwards of $200 million in damages.

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Why is Alan Foster suing PUMA?

The Charlotte Hornets‘ point guard signed a lucrative $100 million deal with PUMA in 2020. Foster said, “He knew that his Big Baller Brand signature shoe was called the ‘MB1’ and that the name was protected by federal trademark. Yet, despite his knowledge of all of this, LaMelo willfully and deliberately chose to name the signature shoe he created and designed with PUMA the ‘MB1’ in violation of the LaMelo Trademarks.” Consequently, both LaMelo and PUMA violated his trademarks in the development of their new signature shoe, the MB.01. The lawsuit asserts that this has led to “customer confusion.”

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What are your thoughts on Alan Foster’s claims? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by:

Darshita Daga

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Darshita Daga is an NBA Writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing Bachelor’s in English, she’s a fervent sports enthusiast with a keen interest in sports journalism, specifically covering the NBA. She feels that words have the potential to capture the spirit of a game, evaluate moves, and portray the emotions that occur both on and off the court.
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