Social responsibility and fiscal accountability, in the context of activism within the Black community, have been buzz words since the legendary Harry Belafonte scolded business mogul Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter, and his superstar wife, Beyonce Knowles, for turning their backs on empowering the Black community.
Questions about Hip-Hop and its role in uplifting the community have been rampant. In an insightful article on EURWeb.com, Ricardo A. Hazell, took it a step further and delved into sports activism, specifically the lack thereof as manifest in the capitalist agenda of Michael Jordan. Hazell also discusses Lebron James‘ claims that “he wanted to be global icon on the level of Muhammad Ali.”
Well, the news that his Nike sneakers will reportedly cost more than some people make in one week might set him back a bit in his quest.
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Nike Inc. is raising the prices of its sneakers, assuming that the brand’s cachet will carry it through a period when many of its shoppers are scrounging for discounts.
As labor, materials and shipping costs increase, Nike is raising shoe and clothing prices by 5% to 10%, analysts say. A test of the approach comes this fall, when Nike will debut its priciest sneaker yet—an expected $315 LeBron James basketball shoe that includes its own electronics.
But the price is not “arbitrary,” according to spokeswoman Mary Remuzzi. “We are constantly looking at ways to enhance the product line with new innovation and product attributes.”
CBS sports reports that the The “Nike Plus” version of the LeBron X will have sensors in the shoe that relay information to a Nike smart phone app using Bluetooth technology.
See the Nike advertisement featuring Lebron below:
“Quickness, hustle, vertical, Nike Plus basketball tracks them all,” James says in the advert as the shoes blink and wink enticingly at his adoring fans. “How high you jump, how quick you are and how hard you play. So you can compete against your friends, your rivals and yourself, every time you play. Nike Plus basketball allows you to see your game like never before.”
While one can’t blame James for capitalizing on his success, especially in light of his frequent charitable contributions, one can’t help but wonder is it really necessary for a shoe to cost that much money, and how — or if — that impedes James’ quest for Muhammad Ali status.
To preempt the brewing controversy, Nike spokesman Brian Strong says that $315 is “inaccurate,” and that the price point is still being set. Industry experts speculate that the enhanced shoe’s price will level off at approximately $290.