The sneaker industry paradox
The trouble with marketing to those who love shoes the most
BY BEN ARONSON
Ben and his family all have Jordans now.
Growing up, my family was never like can’t-pay-the-light-bill broke, but we didn’t exactly have money. In 1992, my mother made about $65,000 a year working in human resources at a state-run, residential, mental/physical health facility. She was a single mom with two kids. She got two paychecks a month. One paid for our suburban New Jersey home, the other one had to pay for everything else.
That was the problem I had with Michael Jordan and his kicks. I loved him and I needed them. When I was a kid, Jordans were just about the only sneaker that mattered in an industry that was exploding. Putting on a pair of Js was a statement about your game, your style. And they were not hard to find. They were just expensive AF.
When the Nike “Hare” Jordans dropped, I was about ten years old. I had to have them. But the math was against me: I got two new pairs of sneakers each year. One pair was for “back-to-school.” The other was for a specific s…
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to TrueHoop to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.