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Comment of the Week

What Marker readers have to say about the marketing tactics that make it near impossible to buy limited-release Nikes

Nike’s SNKRS app — the marketplace for the company’s limited-edition releases—has gained notoriety on social media among sneaker fans for creating bottlenecks and making it virtually impossible for customers to check out and snag a pair. Earlier this month, “Michael Jordan’s son Marcus released a limited-edition version of his dad’s Air Jordan I ‘Freeze Out’ sneaker that hardly any actual consumer was able to purchase,” writes David Dennis, Jr., senior writer for LEVEL and author of the forthcoming book, The Movement Made Us.

Dennis, who has repeatedly tried to purchase sneakers via the SNKRS app (to no avail) has likened…

The Nike sneaker-buying experience has been brutal for years. When will fans get too fed up to keep supporting the brand?

The demise of Blockbuster Video lives in my head rent-free. It’s the perfect parable about America’s brand of capitalism and what happens when people are given a choice that frees them from greed. Sort of.

Blockbuster thrived in the late ’80s and early ’90s because it scaled explosively, opening new stores and buying out competitors; in many places, it was the only way people could watch new movies that were just out of theaters. It leveraged its near-monopoly in predatory ways, charging people exorbitant late fees for movie rentals and even damaging people’s credit scores for not being able to…

Where Are They Now

Last month, Reebok reportedly went up for sale. What even happened to the iconic sneaker brand of the ‘80s?

Several pairs of the Reebok Pump shoe hanging in a display.
Several pairs of the Reebok Pump shoe hanging in a display.

Where Are They Now is a column that revisits once-popular companies and brands that have seemingly disappeared.

I can still remember trying on the Reebok Pump. Emphasis on “trying on”: It was 1989, and I was under no illusions my mother would buy me a $170 shoe (the equivalent of $365 today). But I had to try it, and I had to pump it up. My favorite basketball player, Dominique Wilkins — Michael Jordan’s flashy dunk-contest rival — endorsed them. They inflated to fit your foot! They were the coolest shoes in the world.

Depending on your age, you might…

Would Nike still be Nike if it had been named Dimension Six?

Editor’s Note: In this excerpt from his memoir Shoe Dog, the founder of Nike, Phil Knight, shares how Nike got its name and logo.

The year was 1971. My shoe company — at the time called Blue Ribbon — and Onitsuka, our longtime Japanese shoe supplier, were about to break up. I needed to find a replacement for Onitsuka.

I remembered a factory I’d heard about, in Guadalajara, the one where Adidas had manufactured shoes during the 1968 Olympics, allegedly to skirt Mexican tariffs. The shoes were good, as I recalled. …

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