There is no denying that very few people today—not just here in the US but also in the world at large—have not owned at least a pair of Nike's sneakers at one point in their lives. Most of us were actually weaned off our mother's bosoms while our toddler's feet were tucked inside these Signature Sneakers. And when growing up, it was the aspiration and ambition of every other teenager (especially boys) to have two or three original pairs of sneakers from Nike's most prestigious brand—The Jordans. If anything, the 'Jordan Brand' is almost synonymous with something that serious basket ballers have at their feet.
But in a bid to increase sales and stay ahead of the competition, Nike is finally changing tact and exploring other avenues beyond basketball. In the past, the label Nike could have easily passed for a shorter description for 'a US-based male footwear brand.' However, if the latest reports are anything to go by, Nike Inc's flagship— the Jordan Brand—will soon be making sneakers for women too.
But that's not all. Other than the new women's line, Nike's new vision for the biggest flagship sneakers line also involves churning out goodies for football fans and weekend warriors. And in the process, they hope to cement their reputation in the footwear industry especially in athletics and outdoor physical sports.
The Superstar Line
While Nike can be said to be a household name as far as women's athletic's shoes go, the Jordan brand rarely finds its way in the ladies dressing room lockers. But that is understandable considering that Nike's flagship label has literally ignored women for close to three decades now. It is something to do with the subconscious perception that Jordans are reserved for boys most girls today (particularly between 17 to 25) grew up with.
Even worse, most of the kids in that age bracket never witnessed Michael Jordan slam dunks on live TV. The only know Mr. Jordan from celebrity magazines and gossip columns mentions. Which, of course, obviously makes it harder for them to associate with the premium brand.
But will a Special 'Jordans for Ladies' Line Change this?
If we're talking about sheer numbers and percentages, then there is a high possibility that many women will gravitate towards this highly male-associated brand. A recent survey shows that over 97% of women in the US know or have ever heard of Michael Jordan. So selling them high-end, premium 'Jordan branded' sneakers shouldn't be hard, right? In fact, Nike estimates that a significant percent of the $50 billion annual sales they hope to achieve by 2020 will be from the direct injection of women's Jordan sneakers in the market.
However, critics and skeptics are also quick to point out that the new brand will be dabbling in the murky waters of poor sales for quite some time before the market responds. We all know that Jordans are presently more of fashion accessories than actual playing juggernauts- even going by their prohibitive price tags of more than $150 per pair.
How this works out for the Jordan Brand and Nike Inc., in general, remains to be seen.