A sports blog by Rocky Parrish from the Kevin and Rock Show

Don't blame Nike

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Something bugs me about folks who are quick to blame and complain about without taking a step back to realize the real culprit.  Themselves.
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Recently Nike released a God awful color way of an iconic shoe called the Foamposite Galaxy.  To give full disclosure before heading down this road, I have been a brand loyal customer of Nike since about age 10, and have also worked closely with Nike in a prior life and still on projects today when tasked.
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However being brand loyal or not I am allowed to not like every shoe they release or appreciate every aspect of the company. Yet when I hear the complaints about why Nike released only 3000 pairs of the Galaxy Foamposite or did not provide enough pairs to go around of the Air Jordan Concord this past Christmas, or even throwing blame for people dying and being robbed I become confused.
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Not in one conference call or meeting that I have ever been a part of on the Beaverton, Oregon Campus did I hear 'we are going to give Retail Managers guns to hold to customers heads to make them purchase this footwear we are releasing'.  Not once.  Yet I have friends, family and folks who call into our radio show stating Nike is solely to blame for the chaos that happens.
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Have I ever been ticked off about not getting a particular shoe because of the limited nature of its release?  Of course.  Did I lose sleep?  Not at all. Have been caught up in the euphoria as a sneaker head paying more than I should for a shoe because it wasn't available on the regular retail market?  Absolutely.   Why?  Because I am a sneaker fiend. 
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Growing up I nor my family had the money to buy me $50 dollar shoe's let alone $150 dollar sneakers.  So I vowed to myself that when I could afford to do so I would buy as many kicks as possible and not care who didn't like it.  It was my money and I'd spend it the way I wanted to.  Well the Sneaker Culture has evolved a lot since my youth, and Nike has taken full advantage of this.  Marketing 101 is Supply and Demand.

 

When IPhone can't meet its demand sure there are riots and perhaps a few death's but no one focuses on it as much as they do Nike, because Nike has its history of bad labor practices. 
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{Stay with me here... just to educate some folks who don't know this:  Nike does not pay the folks who make their shoes directly; rather they contract out factory owners who then pay their workers. Nike isn't alone in this practice.  Reebok, Adidas and many larger apparel and footwear companies follow this practice.  Nike has demanded improvements in these factories, but most folks don't realize this is something they didn't have to do.  I'll end this rant there, because I know this topic alone can cause its own crap storm.}
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But back to Supply and Demand... if I have the best phone out but want to only produce 10,000 of them to meet the demand of 100,000 customers, I am alone driving up the demand and buzz of my product. Sure I could make more money, but I also wouldn't have many people talking about my company or that great product.  In turn, I drive customers through my doors and when they realize they can't get that phone they settle for another one.  This practice makes you more money in the long run from other phone manufacturers and your company has achieved bottom line success and exposure.

Everyone good with that factoid?  Well let's discuss why Nike isn't to blame and we are for the nonsense that ensues at these releases?  Parents are allowing their children to camp out for a week in front of stores, they are actually giving their children $200 or more dollars to purchase such a shoe. In some instances parents are allowing their children to go into area's that have NEVER been to at midnight for famed Midnight releases.  I grew up in Oxon Hill and I wouldn't go to Iverson Mall, Rivertowne or Oxon Hill Plaza at Midnight for a sneaker release.

Here's a thought. If I walk out in the rain without an umbrella I will probably get wet. If I step in front of a moving train I will have a high chance of getting hit and not surviving. So sending your kids into a neighborhood they aren't from is more than likely going to put them in a bad situation.  Something you can do if you don't like the way Nike does business, do us all a favor and go put on some Sketchers, I'm sure they will appreciate the business.  Hooters can't be the only one's keeping them afloat!

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Oh Wait. I guess not.
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