Popular shoe spawns odd behavior

After the Saturday release date of the Air Jordan Retro 13, the recent celebration of the 20-year anniversary of Michael Jordan’s first sneaker, as well as the Air Jordan XX recently released in mid-February, fans and consumers of “His Airness” are beginning to question many things.

In a time where many feel the effects of supply and demand, manufacturing companies are not helping the consumers.

Due to the increased popularity of his shoes and the lack of supply, the craze for Air Jordan sneakers and apparel has grown.

Buyers of all ages have been known to do a number of unorthodox things on the days leading up to and on the day of his sneaker release dates.

Students skip school and parents or older fans take off work to wait in front of the mall hours before it opens to buy the shoes for themselves, their children, their significant others or all of the above.

Some even order the shoes online before the sun comes up.

As people impatiently wait for the day to come, others wonder why?

Why is there so much chaos about the launching of a shoe?

Why is there so much hype about the shoe of a player who does not even play anymore?

The responses vary from students, to shoe store employees who help sell the sneaker, to everyday people who buy or don’t buy them.

“Jordan is the best basketball player to ever live, and there has yet to be another one like him,” said Ted Daniels, a third-year business administration student from Washington. “Bron Bron (LeBron James) is the closest one.”

Daniels admitted he has done some wild things on release day, but he said he didn’t get the 20s and he doesn’t plan on getting the 13s.

As for LeBron James, he has the endorsements and the fans, but he lacks the sales.

The December 2004 edition of Sports Illustrated said that collectively, James’ first two sneakers sold only 68 percent of what Jordan’s first two sold, and 24 percent of what Jordan’s last two sold.

Teresa Harris, assistant manager of the Finish Line in Tallahassee Mall, said though she couldn’t give specific sale numbers, Jordan sneakers always beat out it’s competition by far.

“I personally think that it’s because he’s the greatest basketball player ever. And with the retro sneakers, people had them before and want them again.”

Retro sneakers are sneakers that were previously released, and were re-released years later.

Since retiring in 2002, Jordan has lost consumers. Many feeling that since his career ended, so should the purchasing of his sneakers.

“Without Jordan playing anymore, there isn’t the same hype that there was in the past,” said Marques Bivins, a third-year business administration student from Temple Hills, Md.

Some even find ways to get the shoes weeks before the release date.

Mitch Brooks, a third-year business administration student from Washington, D.C. is one of them.

“To me, it’s about the legacy more than anything. Jordan is a black icon. His shoes are an extension of him,” Brooks said. “Growing up; the frenzy came from not only MJ, but also people in the neighborhood, big brothers, sisters and cousins. They were stars to us. They put Jordans on the map.”

And as for why Brooks got the shoes early, “I’m a trend setter,” he said. “By the time everyone gets them I’ll be on the new ones.”

Rodney Dubose, a computer science student from Bowie, Md. is also a Jordan fan.

He said he has near 30 pairs of Jordans. He buys all his online.

However, he said he did not purchase the 20s.

As for the release day craze he says, “I can see why, (Jordan) has 20 shoes, a team of athletes who wear his shoes, shoes for every sport, and he’s the best of all time.”

Contact Arize Ifejika at thefamuansports@hotmail.com.

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