Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 23, 2012 12:29 PM
LeBron James has had quite a summer. He snagged his first NBA championship and NBA Finals MVP as well as his second Olympic gold medal with Team USA. So what else can the 27-year-old do before getting back to work with the Miami Heat?
He can figure out if his brand is strong enough to sell limited-edition sneakers close to the $300 mark. It came out this week that Nike would be putting out a new pair of sneaks branded with the name of James and would possibly ask consumers to pay out $315 for the honor of owning them, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But there was general outrage -- $315! – and a Nike spokesman let the world know that it was just a big misunderstanding and not that way at all. The sneaks would only cost $290, the San Antonio Express reports. If you want a real “deal,” the paper notes, the so-called LeBron X, will also be sold in a “stripped-down, no-frills version” for just $190.
Well, thank the good Lord for that! A small gift from the beancounters at Nike! The cost, Nike claims, is due to “increasing labor, material and shipping for increasing costs rather than the desire to gouge customers,” the Express reports.
Sneakerheads do love their sneakers. Let’s not forget that last fall, consumers spent $4.7 million for 1,500 pairs of Nikes that mirrored the shoes Michael J. Fox wore during the filming of 1985’s Back to the Future. Sure, the money went to charity, but that’s still a lot of dough for some wearable mementos.
This isn’t the only shoe that is pushing up price points and blood pressure. Nike is pushing all of its shoe and apparel prices up 5% to 10%, the Journal notes. While Nike does this, there’s a presidential election being fought over how tough life is for American businesses and consumers these days.