Following last week's ban on midnight releases, Nike introduced its new Twitter RSVP system yesterday, ramping up efforts to quell the chaos at campouts for highly anticipated sneaker launches. Pressure to improve the way sneaker enthusiasts shop intensified after the riot in Orlando this past February for the “Galaxy” Air Foamposite One during the NBA's All-Star Weekend. That was the culmination of a dilemma that was becoming more urgent with every Foamposite release and the annual Jordan XI Retro tradition.
With their foot planted firmly down, Nike's solution seems reasonable and simple enough: Follow the nearest Nike store on Twitter, monitor its feed for official #RSVP release announcements, and send along a direct message with the necessary details to reserve a pair. (No, they don't need to follow you to send a DM.)
Prospective buyers must provide Nike's official #hashtag to identify the sneakers, the last four digits on their ID, and a size. The fastest tweeters will receive confirmation to pickup their reserved pair on the release date. Everyone else will need to try his or her luck at Foot Locker.
The new system also fights back against resellers infiltrating the sneaker culture. A one-per-customer policy will be enforced. And the measures should also stagger disgruntled shoppers who secure remaining stock when their size is sold out.
With Nike taking command over its inventory and how products are distributed, it's worth monitoring any residual effects on local shops and the larger chain stores – especially if the latter fail to implement similar policies to enhance the shopping experience.
The safety-first approach is absolutely commendable, but it's not an immediate solution for sneakerheads who've missed out on popular releases. Nike.com has been unstable for online launches, and Twitter's infamous #FailWhale during times of heightened activity could make its presence felt once the #RSVP announcements come down.
Next on Nike's calendar is the “Playoff” Air Jordan XII Retro on April 21, followed by the “Elite” LeBron 9 and Kobe 7 editions on April 28.
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