How did Nike come back with their Air Force 1?
What is Nike Air Force 1, you might ask? The legendary sneaker is well-known to a few generations and has been represented in music, film, and TV through the years. It embodies the sneaker game to a T. Nelly even made a song about this shoe in 2002. But the most amazing thing is its resurgence and return back to life with a vengeance recently, proving that classic idols don’t die that easily.
In part thanks to the Air Force 1 brand, Nike got upgraded from Underperform to Neutral by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The surge in sales and profits was led by the Air Force 1 franchise and the Tech Fleece.
The famed sneaker wasn’t always this successful and in fact was once considered a flop, which is hard to believe now. Today we think of this shoe as a leisure wear, but when it first showed up it was classified as a basketball shoe and was worn by some of the biggest names in the sport. While it was successful among NBA big shots, the same couldn’t be said about success in sales. After two years from its release, it was destined for discontinuation. But it didn’t get discontinued because the city of Baltimore turned out to be the brand’s unexpected rescuer.
Baltimore was one place where the shoe was extremely popular and flew off the shelves, so the owners of three shoe stores convinced Nike to continue making them. Nike returned the favor years later and created a limited edition Air Force 1 shoe with “For Baltimore” written on the front of the shoe and a commemorative plaque placed outside on of the stores. It’s amazing how such spontaneous collaborations happen between businesses and even cities.
Baltimore is not the only place where this sneaker became instantly legendary. Harlem is another location with intense love for Nike Air Force 1 franchise. The shoe there was tagged with a nickname “Uptowns”, which is Harlem’s location in relation to the Big Apple.
Today Nike is increasing the production of this iconic shoe because online sales are soaring. The sneaker is #4 in popularity on Instagram, and that, understandably, is worth a lot. In fact, young influencers traveling and displaying this shoe in their pictures is definitely why the shoe is surging back big time and becoming a status symbol. After all, Instagram is the biggest playing field for brands these days – an advertising that can be free and most effective.