Advertisements from the Jordan Brand and Nike have created what I would call a craze within the industry. A craze can be defined as an enthusiasm for a particular activity or object that typically achieves widespread but short-lived popularity.
While a craze typically involves only a short span of popularity, in the case of the Jordan Brand and Air Jordan sneakers, the popularity only grows larger each day. Nike and the Jordan Brand have learned that putting their name on almost anything will garner immediate attention from the world at large.
Another characteristic of a craze is the idea of a large amount of people acting outside of their usual behavior to the point where it becomes savage and prone to violence. Releases of Jordan sneakers are moments where people go to unforeseen extremes to get these coveted and culturally beloved products.
Thousands of people hear about an Air Jordan release date and immediately starting planning on how or where they will get their hands on the new product. Some people decide to camp-out in front of stores the night before a release while others are even willing to camp-out for several days before the release.
People who go to the releases and aren’t able to get the pair of Air Jordans they wanted so much tend to react in aggression stemmed from their inability to cope with not receiving what they have spent several months looking forward to.
Fights have broken out over the last pair, attempted theft, or even a simple argument that escalated into violence. The more dangerous these releases become the more it seems that people are begging for someone to step in and rid these crazes of all this animosity and desperation.
Dime Magazine wrote an article that talked about the mayhem that is a natural part of Air Jordan releases. This past December, Nike and Jordan Brand released arguably the most impressive sneaker that Nike has produced in more than 25 years, the Air Jordan XI, more specifically, the “Concord.”
The Concord was the shoe that Michael Jordan himself most wanted to create because he wanted a shoe that would have the performance and look of a top of the line basketball sneaker but also have enough class to be worn with a tuxedo.
This white and black model of the Air Jordan XI hadn’t been released since its original conception in 1996. Air Jordan XI’s contain the most unique use of color and leather in a shoe in a very long time. Many people remember the original commercial for the Air Jordan XI, which featured Michael Jordan dunking on a 1,000 ft rim.
From the showing of the first commercial up until the news of the release date, the craze for these sneakers has been building up to a new level of anticipation. Dime Magazine created a guide to shopping for these sneakers in the safest way imaginable.
They make it clear that going to out to buy new Air Jordans could be a risky and dangerous feat without taking the proper precautions. Guides like this thankfully inform people that going to releases for the Concord is not just your average day at the store when a new product comes out.
The setting was New York City and the date was December 23, 2011. The place was Staten Island Mall and that’s where a fight broke out over a pair of shoes. The fight started as two men were waiting in a line that was formed at 9 a.m. that had over 1,000 people in it by 10 p.m.
After waiting in line for a prolonged amount of time the two men let the emotional toll of waiting for something they both wanted so badly get to them and their emotions took a turn for the worst. After the fight started, the police quickly moved in to break it up and keep the mob of Jordan fans from becoming a full-scale riot.
There was a similar incident outside Seattle at around the same time. Close to 1,000 shoppers lined up at midnight and at approximately 3 a.m, some people in the crowd started to get physical. About an hour later, some more fights erupted again from inside of the shopping mall, with police struggling to control the situation.
The violence escalated so quickly that it wasn’t too long before police were forced to use pepper spray to prevent more fights from breaking out.
Instances like these two were prevalent across the country wherever the Air Jordan XI’s were released and this coming year on December 24, 2012, another pair of Air Jordan XI’s will be released and I’m sure we all know what will ensue.
This morning, once again people woke up and ran to the nearest Jordan retailer to pick up the latest pair of Air Jordan XI’s, nicknamed the ”Breds.” Much like the Concords the Breds are some of the most highly anticipated Jordans of all-time.
This is why there have been some changes in terms of the way these sneakers will be released. Midnight release have been changed to 8 a.m. releases to provide customers a safer environment to travel home in. The next change to Jordan releases are the addition of lottery and ticket processes that ensure a pair for a number of lucky customers.
Lastly, the largest Jordan retailer decided to only sell sneakers using social media networks like Facebook and Twitter through an RSVP process, and only those who followed these rules will be able to purchase shoes the day of the release.
Thankfully, the Jordan Brand is finally working with their customers to make the release of these sneakers a purely enjoyably experience. The need to warn prospective attendees isn’t even necessary anymore.
Thank those who got into fights over a pair of shoes last year for the reason you don’t have to worry about getting hurt to get the coolest Jordan’s to ever grace the earth.
Andrew Alvez | Elite.