Nike Lebron X: How to Get People to Buy Your $315 Sneaker in Four Easy Steps

Nike is set to release its new LeBron X basketball shoes which will retail for $315. A hard sell? If Nike and King James follow this script, maybe not.

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Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

LeBron James high-fives teammate Kevin Durant during their men's gold medal basketball match.

Nike, probably the only corporation other than Apple that can get people to buy their products solely because they are cool, is set to debut the LeBron X, its newest set of basketball kicks bearing the apellation of hardcourt royalty LeBron James, according to the Wall Street Journal. The high-end model, available with the company’s Nike+ technology, will retail for an astonishing $315, almost five times the original $65 cost of Nike’s Air Jordan 1 in 1985 (which NewsFeed didn’t get for Christmas,  although we did get a pair of Adidas and a Kangol cap).

Clearly Nike needs no tutorship in selling athletic gear; the company made $20.9 billion last year.  And the boys in Beaverton probably have a major marketing campaign up their sleeves waiting to astound us. But in case they need a nudge on selling basketball gear, here’s a few tips on selling a $315 athletic shoe to a skeptical public.

1) Find a two-time Olympic gold medalist who also won his first NBA Championship ring two years after bolting from his hometown team to chase (and find) basketball glory. LeBron James is, of course, no stranger to selling Nikes. Just last year, the company charged $250 for the LeBron 9 PS Elites. Expensive? Yes, but the basktetball shoe division earned a 17% increase in revenue in 2011, and this shoe (and the name on it) was likely part of it.

2) Dazzle people with blockbuster movie-quality commercials that make their star bigger than life yet  barely even show the product. Cameos by stars like Dirk Nowitzki and Questlove don’t hurt either. As a matter of fact, make a significant part of your marketing initiative geared toward social media with hashtags like #GAMEONWORLD.

3) Downplay the price, and play up the Nike+ technology, which does cool stuff like track how high you jump and how fast you move and can upload the stats to your smartphones. At the same time, explain the exorbitant price of the shoe by noting that labor costs in China, where the shoe is manufactured, and the price of cotton, one of the primary materials used in the shoe, have both gone up. Besides, consumers will still be able to purchase a non-cool tech version of the shoe for $180.

4) Be sure that your superstar is seen not just wearing, but performing in your product in a high-profile sports event that billions of people will be watching – like maybe the 2012 Summer Olympics. The new LeBron X’s unapologetically debuted on King James’ feet during the USA basketball team’s gold medal game against Spain, and he let the shoes do the talking (even though Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant led all scorers with 30 points). While most people will not display James’ prowess or skills on the court, they can still imagine themselves doing it — and that’s enough to sell billions in footwear.

8 comments
Zeeva
Zeeva

The sad part is that someone will buy them.

Daniel Genseric
Daniel Genseric

Yep. Nothing says "America" quite the way that picture does....duh

"ASIA FOR THE ASIANS, AFRICA FOR THE AFRICANS, WHITE COUNTRIES FOR EVERYBODY!"

Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into white countries.

The Netherlands and Belgium are just as crowded as Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them.

Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries to “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-whites.

What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?

How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?

And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man wouldn’t object to this?

But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable conservatives agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white.

Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

shia
shia

most people probably wouldnt play ball in these, there are more comfortable and less expensive nike bball shoes out like the hyperdunks or th3 2k4s which ranks as one one the best bball shoes. the 180 lebrons will sell ok because its just 10 bucks more that the lebron 9s. all nike has to do is develop a south beach colorway and most likely they will make it exclusive to the nike+ version of the shoe. the lerbon 8 south beach is reselling for up to $1000, the south beach lebron 9 elites are reselling for 500 plus.

Sara Rose
Sara Rose

A shoe to die for. And people will.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Downplay the price??  I don't think so.  The price is most of the attraction to the  target  shallow and inept consumer.

Both Nike and Apple sell quality, but Nike is dependent on the cool. Apple got where it is on quality and reliability. There are plenty of quality shoe companies.

Chris Blanco
Chris Blanco

the problem is that the reseller days are numbered, sneakers didnt drop as often as they do now, there werent as many colors and there werent as many "limited releases" the south beach 8s dropped and few ppl got them thats why they stand at 1000 bucks the elite 9 southbeach released in preschool sizes (making it more general of a release, making it less valueable) there are still ppl that resell but their asking prices are far lower than before..then they drop little by little as noone buys them...too many ppl buy sell and trade over clist and other sites...making resellers almost locked out..why go to a reseller when clist or dunkxchange will have them online or at theior next event making them more accessible when someone will trade lebron shoe that cost 270 for a shoe that cost 160...i dont get it but whatever lol....the reseller is down the drain and nike is the one retailing their shoes at insane numbers while china labor goes up so the shoe costs them 75 cents instead of the usual 25 cents...booo nike....boooo