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The high price of re-treading

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CHARLOTTE — Black youth of America, you are being duped.

As my friends and I walked through ‘Champs,’ ‘FootAction’ and ‘Foot Locker’ of both Concord Mills and Eastland Malls on our recent visit to the Queen City, I noticed something ridiculously insane.

Nike, the sports apparel giant, is re-issuing shoe lines from over a decade ago (12, 13, 14 years) at modern day prices — as if they are brand new shoes. But should you expect anything different from the name that brought you Jordan, and carries LeBron, Tiger, Kobe and a classroom full of collegiate athletic teams?

Not at all.

Nike — more than any other athletic apparel company — has always price gouged thanks to M.J. Jordan’s collaboration with Spike Lee and the Mars Blackmon spot made the ‘Air Jordan’s’ commercial and gave Jordan street cred. And when Jordan reached iconic status, every kid whose ever taken a jump shot — black or white — wanted a pair the kicks.

It’s no secret that blacks especially spend money. It was expected that the CIAA (the real reason for my visit) will bring Charlotte at least $28 million in revenue. And it is also no secret that black kids love sneakers so why wouldn’t Nike capitalize on the spending power of blacks? And why would Nike care if most black youths can’t afford $150 pair of footwear but will get the cash by any means necessary?

So what does Nike do? Bring back the 1998 version of the Jason Kidd’s and instead of calling them the anniversary edition (which could possibly justify the price) sell them as new shoes.

LBJ’s 4: $125, Chris Paul’s: $110, 1997 Deion Sanders: too much.


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