Yesterday I was asked by my friend Ed (follow@edthesportsfan) from the Sportsfan Journal to be apart of 12 bloggers that share their opinion on the “staggering” $315 price tag of the new Lebron X, you can read every bloggers opinion here or you can see mine below:
For me the price isn’t that outrageous. It features four of Nike’s top technologies: HyperFuse, Dynamic Flywire, Zoom Air and the new Nike+ system. The consumer is getting a premier product and an excellent system to track their game, from a design standpoint it is all positives. However, from a business standpoint the Nike+ Basketball System is just now hitting the market and I don’t think anyone is waiting in line for it. So aligning it with a premier release, like a Lebron; is an intelligent idea. There is no way Nike will make more than 50,000 pairs of these for the public to consume so if they aligned it with one of the high profile colorways like an All-Star Game shoe, Miami Vice or the China Edition; it is going to sell out and therefore Nike gets the new system on the consumers foot which could create return users of the + system. On top of that, Lebron has been the image of the + system since its launch so you know Nike is going to push how it is used with him and his game. It will not surprise me when we are tracking him live during his games or when they set up some sort of contest to see which consumer is the closest match to his stats or who can beat his best game of the year. This shoe will present a whole new phase in how Nike product is presented to the consumer and most importantly, how it integrates with the consumer and their life.
As you can see by my quote I don’t believe that the price is too high for what is being offered. Like I said in the paragraph above you get a shoe that features all of Nike’s best performance attributes and a system that tracks your game. I would like to point out that the one thing that is being completely overlooked by everyone is that there are two versions of the Lebron X, there is the $315 Nike Basketball+ version and the standard version that will retail for $180. It should be noted that Nike has since stated that the prices are not set and that $315 version will be closer to $290.
For me growing up I never had the dopest footwear until I could buy my own shoes. While I am not going to paint a picture of poverty, I will say that my family and parents are from a hard working lower middle class. I always had nice things but it is not like those things were replaceable if I damaged them. Simply put, everything we had was earned and was respected for its value. I can remember numerous times begging and doing my damn best to manipulate and persuade my mother into getting me a pair of Jordan’s or any other fly Nike Basketball product and I can count on my hand how many times it worked, three! The first being on the White/Columbia Air Jordan IX, the second being on the White/Black Air Jordan X and the third being the Air Max Sensation CW. That was 1994, 1995 and 1996 and from a psychological standpoint my parents just went through a divorce so at that time I am sure I could have gotten a Ferrari from my mother to keep my emotions positive. Which I guess is why I always targeted my mother because my father didn’t budge on any shoe over $75. The next pair of expensive shoes came in 1999, I was wearing adult sizes at this point so the retail price was significantly higher; was the Air Jordan XIV low in White/Columbia. Literally, my holy grail as I used my catechism money to buy them and I still own them to this day.
What I learned from my youth was that the hustle that I had to go through to get those shoes taught me to value them.
I came home everyday from school and cleaned them with a toothbrush, mind you I had never seen Do The Right Thing at this point in my life and this type of attitude towards footwear was a rarity in Angola, Indiana. In high school I wore my old shoes on the bus and when I arrived at my locker I switched into my Jordan’s. Not because they had to be “fresh out the box clean” but because I wanted them to last.
When I hear people complain about the price of a shoe it frustrates me to no end because in my eyes the price of a shoe is no different then any other market of products in life, for every expensive one there is an inexpensive one. For every Apple there is an Acer. For every Ferrari there is a Corvette. For every mansion there is a trailer. I can go on but I think you get the point.
For those that argue that this price of a shoe is going to cause more robberies and more killings or that Nike is unfairly taking advantage of a demographic that can’t afford this product, I can’t believe that you would think that Phil Knight, Mark Parker and all of the others on the board are plotting their product to kill people or pilage the poor. If this shoe or any other shoe, like the Air Jordan XI that releases again at Christmas this year; are going to cause the murder rate to increase than we as a society of consumers need to sit back and really examine what we value. Because if the Lebron X is more important than a life, then the consumer needs to revaluate what their life means.
Life is about choices and if you learn to value the outcome of your choices, in return, you will learn to make the right choices. Buy the shoes you can afford.
Besides the shoes don’t make the man, the man makes the shoes.