Starbury vs Nike: who’s right?

Nike has been the poster child for Marbury's crusade against high sneaker prices.
Nike has been the poster child for Marbury’s crusade against high sneaker prices.



Since announcing the eminent return of his Starbury brand, former NBA and current Chinese Basketball Association player Stephon Marbury has been relentless lobbing bombs at Nike and Mike Jordan. He has been unwavering in his words despite some backlash. However it must be noted,from reading both the comments of those on Facebook and Twitter ,there is a sizable chunk of people who share Marbury’s sentiments. So in reading this I thought to myself is he right? From my vantage I can see the merits of both Nike and Stephon Marbury.

It has long been an intrinsic truth of the footwear scene that there is a very high( I mean really high) markup on sneakers; it is the elephant in the room that no one really wants to talk about. Looking at the lines that wrap around retail outlets across the country on release days, it really does not register in the minds of those that buy kicks. It is simply accepted as part of the “game”. So in this assertion, Mr. Marbury is accurate, although he is not shedding light on some great hidden truth of the footwear industry. I will say this: if the claim that Marbury makes is true about his shoes being produced in the same factories as Nike and Jordan Brand is neither an indictment on the lack of quality of Jordan Brand shoes nor an endorsement of the quality of Starbury sneakers.

A lot of people have been taking runs at the Swoosh for years because of their prices, and I can understand why, after all$150+ for a pair of sneakers is a big bite of a person’s wallet. I think what these criticisms fail to take into account that Nike,like all corporations, aren’t charities. These companies aren’t formed for altruistic reasons; they’re formed to make as much profit as possible.  These corporations focus on the bottom line and right now business is quite good. When there are lines wrapped around retail venues on release days and shoes sell out within minutes of release, it’s difficult to see the need to chart a different course.  Ultimately in the consumer determines the market value  and the effing mention lines it continue to be wrapped around buildings shows that the prices are still not yet too high even though they are continuing to rise yearly.

The way I see it both starburst and NIKE are doing exactly what they need to do to achieve their ends. Nike is full steam ahead and continues make money hand over fist. Starbury, through his statements, has created buzz surrounding the brand and its impending return. Additionally, it seems it has also reignited the discussion on footwear prices.


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