Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Stephon Marbury, a professional basketball player of some note, has his own sneaker line. He recently announced he was selling a sneaker that is made at the same $5 price, in the same Chinese factory as Nike’s Jordan sneaker in China. Nike sells their Jordan sneaker for $200. Marbury is selling his sneaker, “Starburys” for $15.
First of all, kudos to Mr. Marbury for selling his sneaker at a (more than) fair price and not ripping off the sneaker buying fanatics in the country. Extra kudos as most of the sneaker buying fanatics in this country can ill afford to pay $200 for a shoe. Sometimes kids with the $200 sneaker get beaten up or even killed when their sneakers are stolen because they represent status.
I am curious about how successful Marbury’s sneaker will be. I hope he sells them as fast as he has them made. I expect they will not sell very well. I suspect those that buy them will be mocked for wearing a “cheap” sneaker even though it is just as good as the overpriced Jordan’s.
I don’t know when this status thing started with young kids. I think it was in the eighties and started with blue jeans. I remember you could buy a pair of Levi’s, the inventor of blue jeans, and the maker of the best jeans, for about five or ten bucks. Then Jordache came out with a jean advertised by women with very nice butts and they charged $75.
The Jordache jeans became the must haves, and the Levi’s were out. Then came Gloria Vanderbilt and a whole bunch of other “designer” jeans at exorbitant prices and parents all around the country heard,
“You just don’t get it!”
And their children did get them.
Other manufacturers caught on quickly and soon the $10 Timex watch would not do, your kid HAD to have a $100 Swatch, which was just a crap watch with a colorful strap. My son bought a pair of sunglasses for $120. I said,
“What, are you crazy?”
“Dad, their Oakley’s!”
I drank inexpensive Fleischmann's Vodka; college kids that didn’t have a pot to pee in had to have Absolute (now it's Grey Goose).
My Grandfather used to drink Four Roses Whiskey, now considered rot gut whiskey…and he was RICH! Kids today only eat, drink, drive and wear “Top Shelf” products, and often the only thing that puts them on the top shelf is advertising and hype.
Nice try Stephon, you want to make a profit and still do something good for kids that don't have a lot of money. I doubt your new sneaker will sell. It is too inexpensive.
Now if you up the price to $205 you might have a hit.