May 23, 2023 By admin

It’s All Marketing! The Sneaker Wars

For the past 40 years of my life, I’ve been involved with basketball in one way or another. First as a mighty mite player, as a 10-year-old. And progressing through the ranks, as a player, coach, referee and spectator.

As a youngster, there were only two manufacturers of sneakers that could be worn for basketball. The two manufacturers were PF Flyers and Chuck Taylor Converse. If you were really a player, you bought the Chuck Taylor Converse. Or Chucks as we used to call them. And there were only two colors. Black or white. And two styles. High tops or low cut.

If you really wanted to get fancy, you took the white laces out of your shoes and replaced them with different colored laces to match your school colors. So your parents ended up paying 9.99 for retro sneakers. In the late 1970s, there weren’t any retail stores specializing in sneakers and footwear. We bought our sneakers at the local Army Navy Store.

I’m not suggesting that we go back to those days. But I think it is absolutely outrageous that parents are paying $100 – $200 for the latest sneaker. Sneakers endorsed by great NBA players like Kobe Bryant, Alan Iverson, Tracy McGrady, etc.

With foreign suppliers headquartered in Asian countries, the raw cost(labor & material) for making those sneakers is probably not much different today than when they manufactured Converse back in the seventies. So how do sneakers sell for $100 and up? The answer – it’s all in the marketing and endorsement fees. Just pure greed.



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