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Sneakers December, 27 2011

Air Jordan 11 Retro Concord Release – What Have We Learned?

The Air Jordan 11 Retro Concord release madness seems to be over. People got hurt, gun shots were fired, knives were pulled, pepper spray was used between people standing in line and by the police. Entire malls had to shut down – all this because of a sneaker. It seems unbelievable but it actually happened. A topic that is usually left to sneaker focussed blogs made the rounds on international high profile news sites. One thing is for sure, this is marketing that you could not possibly pay for even if you wanted to.

We had now a few days to reflect on the happenings, talked to some people around us, and opinions are all over the pace. Who is to blame for this mess? Nike for releasing a great shoe? The stores for not creating a proper environment and organization to release such a hyped product? Blogs such as ours for creating buzz around such a release? Some opinions by our readers were already expressed in an earlier post here.

Here is what we think. Nike cannot really be blamed, because releasing a great product should be their main concern. Producing great product and marketing it the right way to sell that product is the ultimate goal of Nike and they are certainly pretty good at that, as we were shown again in this case.

We cannot blame the stores either. Sure, they knew people would go crazy about the sneaker, but who could have expected this. Should a store now hire security personnel for a Jordan release? Carry weapons and pepper spray to keep people in order? That cannot be the solution to this issue.

Read the rest of the post after the jump.

Blogs such as this one? Obviously we do not think so. Sure, we support the brand marketing machinery. But then again, that is our job. We write about and support product that we love every day. In the case of this specific release, us reporting or not would not have changed a thing. It’s the Air Jordan 11 Retro Concord!!!

This leaves us with blaming the people that acted out of line. The people that dared hitting, pushing, peppery spraying and beating others over a sneaker… a sneaker! I think everybody can agree with this, but the issue here is, that we do not have a solution to the issue. Who cares that it is the people that act out that are to blame. How does that ensure that this will not happen again? Should a store now start doing background checks on people standing in line to ensure security? Does not really seem like a solution either.

The only solution we came up with to the problem, is changing how these types of products are being released. Because we truly believe, even though this is not Nike’s fault, they cannot keep on releasing such product without changing anything, risking for people to get hurt. They are very aware of what happened this time and while having to be a responsible business for their stockholders, they are for sure thinking about solutions to the issue. Producing more shoes, thus making the product less scarce and less desirable is not in their interest. Not releasing the product at all, also does not help brand building and keeping Nike fans happy. Therefore, the only solution we see is to move away entirely from in-store releases for such products and exclusively releasing them online. For the retailer that is of course a very unsatisfying solution, but that is the only thing we could come up with.

What do you think? Do you have other solutions for the issue? We would love to hear your opinion.

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