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Debate This | Nike, KD & Why This Won’t Boost Sales But Is Still Smart 

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Nike has several primary sources of marketing: social, NDC, SNKRS and Nike News. If you add to the fact that most sneaker sites are basically Nike sites in disguise their reach is endless (on a small level), but none of that has mattered. KD won the championship last night, but Nike’s missteps throughout the year (actually the last few years) in basketball and in marketing have been amazing. Last night they responded immediately by delivering every content source a dose of classic marketing with the Debate This video.

But will it work to boost shoe sales for KD?

No. It’s a little too late for that, but last night’s campaign and continued campaign blitz for KD is a return to form for the brand. The most important aspect for Nike will be KD himself. I’ve said that we live in a time where the biggest shoe buying segment would rather play Minecraft and watch Netflix before tuning in to an NBA game. Nike has attempted to offset this by utilizing their social reach for KD:

  • On Twitter both Nike and Nike Basketball are headed with the Debate This video. This shows that Nike understands the importance of video.
  • Facebook and Instagram have references to KD already as Nike has been posting back and forth about both KD and LeBron.
  • YouTube has the Debate This video and it’s about to hit 1 million views in less than 24 hours.

This is a great response by Team Nike, but as I’ve stated we live in a society where live sports is the last haven for television marketing and that haven is being invaded, which makes Nike’s marketing for KD important last night, but ultimately fruitless. This won’t push interest in KD. What Nike has to realize is that their marketing machine is broken because sports are broken.

We no longer live in a time where Michael Jordan can earn his spot on his high school team. In other words the culture of AAU and travel baseball, soccer and every sport has ruined sports and alienated an entire generation of kids who in the last 15 years knew before they ever entered high school that they couldn’t make the team if they didn’t play travel ball or year round sports. Those kids are now young adults and their new kids have the same level of interest in sports as their young parents. Those kids are into fashion, but they aren’t into sports as fashion anymore.

The only thing that can save KD’s shoes is a clear understanding that video and content are king and that a Championship Title only makes you king for a day when it comes to sportswear. The market requires consistency in content creation and constant introduction of information to make KD’s kicks cool again… but the free throw shimmy with an allusion to the Old Dirty Bastard with Shimmy Shimmy Ya as the backing music for the commercial spot, genius.