Nike Engineering a Rebound for Jordan Brand

Nike Engineering a Rebound for Jordan Brand

This week, everyone will be talking about Nike‘s earnings, the A/W 2019 fashion calendar and the holiday retail landscape

 

Air Jordans have played a backseat role in Nike’s meteoric rise in recent years. No longer.

The original must-have sneaker is having something of a renaissance. Whereas in June The New Yorker reported that the Jordan brand was “losing its cultural sway,” by December Sneaker News was proclaiming the Air Jordan 1 “bigger than ever.”

The current nostalgia for the 80s and 90s neatly tracks with the period when basketball star Michael Jordan was in his prime.

A course correction from Nike has played a role as well. Earlier this year, the sportswear giant outlined plans to tighten inventories and update its marketing strategy, relaunching Jordan brand’s Instagram account and unleashing endless iterations on classic styles in small drops that left fewer pairs sitting on store shelves.

Long lines outside stores and soaring resale prices (three of the four “most popular” shoes featured on StockX are Jordans) only add to the sub-brand’s mystique.

Yesterday’s second release of Air Jordans stamped “not for resale” are a prime example of the impact these moves seem to be having; the initial run is ironically available on StockX for $600 a pair, more than three times retail.

The Bottom Line: Thursday’s earnings should make clear whether the hype is translating into additional sales, as well as whether a parallel initiative to boost sales of Jordan sneakers to women is paying off.