The 2017 Summer Pack is on the way. Last year the pack actually was a solid performer at retail. While the drops came late in the summer and actually heading into the fall, when they arrived (at least for me) they were solid performers. How does the Summer Pack of this year match up with last year?
First, the PG1 was a concept. There wasn’t a Paul George release and there wasn’t a Nike Basketball shoe concept that matched the white based Summer inspired kicks. This PG1 is very clean. The pop of blue is more of a spring transitional color, but the fresh white/sail with a suede tan patch and light gum outsole is a standout and might inspire a bit of off the court interest.
The Kyrie 2 sold well, but in last years model the color was a true Nike Sail with pops of red. This version is definitely a lot more summer like and the speckled outsole brings a dope contrast to the icy blue outsole pop. This is by far the cleanest look on the Kyrie 3 and if Nike holds true to fashion (or if they are smart) there will be an adjacent Nike Sportswear video and campaign to align with the drops. If there aren’t any sportswear marketing campaigns these basketball releases will not pop at all. Especially this next one.
When Nike introduced the “Edit To Amplify” I most certainly thought the basketball shoes wouldn’t see an Elite lineup. While KDs 9 sold well initially, even garnering some resale value, it has dropped and has consistently been on discount at Foot Locker with mark downs from 119.99 to 99.99. Last years model has more of multi-color Flyknit attachment to it. While I actually think the KD 9 was solid, it lacked any real elements and to be honest it was very bland. There wasn’t an emotional attachment to the shoe and KDs move to Golden State wasn’t very endearing. The Elite however, is striking and this version feels a bit more lightweight and streamlined. The Swoosh has been reduced in size and is not as intrusive and the lacing system makes for a stylistic, fashion based approach. Will this translate to sales for the KD line? The Time To Shine KD at 150, which is a different approach for the Elite line in the past is the only basketball release from that pack to not sell out. Part of this is marketing, part of it is apathy.
The Kobe 11 was dropped primarily as a 200 dollar Elite model. When the Kobe 11 dropped the Summer Pack last year they reduced the tech and made it an EM release with a very limited release to Urban accounts. The shoe didn’t sell very well and did not garner any resale interest at all. The Kobe 11 EM Summer Pack can be found now for under retail. The pop of blue on the Swoosh last year was actually a tacky approach. This year Nike nails this colorway of the Kobe A.D. and removes any extra color details creating a monochromatic look based on ivory and given a gum foundation that is eye catching and really accessible as a fashion option. The problem again is that there has been very little promo of Nike Basketball outside of Kyrie and if this holds true, expect to see the Summer Pack on sale in a couple of months.
Last year the Pack included the LeBron 13 which was a mess. It was a wool, graphite, concrete looking shoe with the pastel blue, crimson and gum. The blend was so startling no one bought it at retail. The shoe was on clearance and ended up RTV’d back to the Nike Clearance racks where it hit 89.99 with an additional 30% off. It can still be found for way below retail. It’s not surprising that the LeBron 14 hasn’t been given a 2017 Summer Pack. The rollout on the model has been very slow and very limited. The model while aesthetically better than the previous 3 LeBrons still remains a shoe made for a 6-8 power player. Nike would do well to move the LeBron back to a Max Air cushioning system or improvise on Vapor Max with a Full Length Visible Air Vapor outsole. Which would drive up the price, but it would definitely make for a better looking shoe that has a Retro vibe like the 6-9 models which are by far the best releases from Nike for LeBron.
What do you think of this years pack? Nike finally gets subtlety right to me and in doing so has created a solid release, but will they continue to undermine the Basketball releases with minimal marketing? We will see.