SBD/Issue 72/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Retailers See Heavy Interest For New Air Jordan Sneakers

Air Jordan Space Jam Sneaker Releases
To Raucous Crowds At Stores Across U.S.
A "teeming throng of more than 1,000 people massed outside" the Arden Fair mall in Sacramento before midnight Tuesday, "all for the chance to spend $175 on the new, retro-style Air Jordan Space Jam sneakers," according to Peter Hecht of the SACRAMENTO BEE. The phenomenon "spilled over elsewhere in the country as retail centers scheduled midnight or early morning openings for the sales launch" of the sneakers. Hecht noted when the crowd at Arden Fair "surged past mall managers trying to hand out numbers for purchasing the shoes," the mall "shut down the midnight sales promotion and told everyone to go home." No "injuries or damages were reported" at the mall. But at a mall in Ann Arbor, Michigan, police were "called to help maintain order among early morning shoppers seeking the shoes." In S.F., customers "lined up all night outside several retailers." Hecht noted many customers "returned before" Arden Fair's 8:00am PT opening Wednesday, and by 8:30, "all the Jordans at five stores -- Foot Locker, Foot Action, Sittra, Champs Sports and Shoe Palace -- were sold out" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 12/24). In San Antonio, Jessica Elizarraras reported local residents "lined up hours" before retailers opened to buy the Air Jordan sneakers. The Rivercenter mall Footaction location "opened early, but only allowed one customer in the store at a time." The mall's Foot Locker outlet opened at 7:00am CT and "allowed only a handful of shoppers in the store at a time" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 12/24).

IN MEMORY: In Portland, Steve Beaven reported Frank Rudy, who was "best known as an inventor who created the Air Sole technology that helped make Nike a booming business," died earlier this month at the age of 84 at his home in California. Rudy is "credited with inventing the Nike Air shoe cushioning system in the late 1970s." But the system "didn't catch on with consumers until 1987, when Nike used television ads featuring the Beatles' 'Revolution' to promote" its Air Max sneakers, which "made the gas-filled urethane pouch visible" (Portland OREGONIAN, 12/25).

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