Police can put away the pepper spray and stun guns at Nike stores – there will be no more midnight riots over newly released shoes.
That’s because Nike is turning to Twitter to sell its highly demanded shoes on their release days.
For years, shoeheads have camped outside Nike stores, sometimes for days, to be the first to purchase the newest line of popular Nike shoes. It’s a sometimes harmless exercise -- and great for Nike’s publicity -- but it’s occasionally led to trouble as customers battled each other for first rights to the shoes.
The process led to a dangerous scene during All-Star weekend in Orlando, when hundreds of people were held back by police and threatened with tear gas as they attempted to enter the Florida Mall after it closed. Before that, a man was stabbed to death in Maryland and shots were fired in California in a crowd of more than 2,000 people. And there have been myriad other incidents.
Nike’s had enough, and they’re turning to a creative method of giving out its shoes.
Instead of camping out in front of stores, customers must camp out at their computers. Sometime during a shoe’s release day, Nike will tweet to begin the RSVP process. The first however-many people to respond with their information and shoe size can then pick up the shoes at their closest Nike store. But they have to visit the store that day -- otherwise, the shoes will go to the next person.
It’s a unique move by Nike, but it just might be genius. The company will avoid the negative headlines from the shoe-release riots, and they’ll still receive plenty of attention, if not more, on the release days because of the power of social media. A wider number of people will participate, as most people can’t camp out for days. Don’t be surprised to see Nike trending on big release days, so people who otherwise would have no interest in Nike will have the brand enter their brain on their computer or phone.
Shoe stores such as Foot Locker, however, are still free to sell the shoes in whatever manner they’d like.
For details on the entire process, read this press release at Nike’s website.