What the Foam?

This is a deeper examination of the conspiracy I founded in my post "Fight of the Concords," which can be found here.  For all of you avid sneaker followers (the majority of you right?) I'm sure you all heard about the INSANITY regarding the Foamposite "Galaxies."  For those who didn't hear, this shoe had the most unforeseen turn of events happen to it:

People started camping outside of shoe stores an entire WEEK in advance.  Because the shoe was made for the NBA All-Star Weekend, only approximately 1200 units were made, so it was only sold in select cities such as NYC and Orlando.  As the lines became longer and longer, people in line would realize that they weren't going to get a pair, so they began to riot.  In Orlando, the rioting got so bad that Orlando's police force, as well as the local SWAT team, had to be dispatched to all the stores that sold the shoe with all the fixings (helicopters, attack dogs, etc).  The rioting heightened to the point of extreme violence, so all the stores in Orlando selling the shoe decided a few days before that that were going to cancel their store's release of the shoe.  For those that did get the shoe, most sold them on ebay almost immediately. The activity surrounding it was INSANE. 

A Foamposite Galaxy bid - $70,000!!! That's more than twice the average American household income.
Here's something to consider: if Nike had decided to make this an exclusive general release shoe (much like the Concords, approx 250,000 units - enough to go nationwide, but still a thrill to get) then at the price of the Galaxy foamposite -$220- then Nike would have grossed an additional $55,000,000. And if they would have been released, there is no doubt in anyone's mind that they would absolutely sell out.  Put yourself in the mind of Mark Parker, Nike's President and CEO. Your company has an opportunity to increase it's gross cash flow by 55 million dollars. But you decide to make it an almost unattainable shoe? You turn down 55 million dollars. For what?  For marketing monetarily worth more than your entire company.  What other company can say that their product, let alone a footwear product, can cause an entire urban city's police force to shut down?   What other company can pass up a 55 million dollar gain?  What other company can say that their product was flipped on the street for a 318 times the original market price?  That's just it - NO ONE.  Nike's ability to pre-market is paralleled by no one. By not taking a 55 million dollar gain, they've bought themselves marketing for the next 20 years. From ONE shoe sale.


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