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Stadium Goods: Riding the sneaker culture boom

The success of Stadium Goods comes off the back of unprecedented consumer desire for sneakers and the need for a rich brand experience in which to buy them, says the platform’s co-founder and co-CEO, John McPheters, on the latest episode of the Innovators podcast. 

“For me the light bulb was that demand had never been higher. It was continuously growing, there were more and more people that wanted to buy our products, but there wasn’t a rich experience that consumers could go to to buy that stuff that was trusted, where they knew what they were getting, where they could really hang their hat on the brand experience and the presentation.” he explains.  

As a result he and his partner, Jed Stiller, set about creating a site that is focused on consignment – meaning it resells existing sneaker stock as well as broader streetwear – but it only does so with unworn and authentic styles. That focus on trust is the key, he says.  

Only launched in 2015, the site was acquired by ecommerce marketplace Farfetch in 2018 for $250 million. Very few emerging businesses have seen such rapid growth. It’s now considered such a market leader, it recently announced a partnership with auction house Sotheby’s to sell 100 of the rarest, most coveted sneakers ever produced.  

The site’s explosion aligns with the growth of sneaker culture worldwide. Expected to hit nearly $100bn in global sales by 2024, sneakers are outpacing much of the rest of the industry, including that of handbags. As a result, they have become the new ‘cash cow’ and awareness driver for all manner of brands, not least those in the luxury space, where such products are used as entry to otherwise more aspirational price points. 

In all parts of the market this has resulted in ‘cult’ or ‘it’ sneakers to own as a result. A rare pair of Nikes today can easily sell for as much as those from Gucci or Balenciaga as a result. This means it’s increasingly a race, with some limited edition styles going for $10,000 or more. 

Co-Founder & CEO, Current Global, Liz Bacelar and Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Stadium Goods, John McPheters

In this episode, recorded live at the British Fashion Council’s annual Fashion Forum, we chat to founder John McPheters about the cultural relevance of such products, the evolving role of exclusivity and desire in luxury today, and just how what he’s doing is really about teaching the industry to give up control.

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Catch up with all of our episodes of the Innovators podcast by the Current Global here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by the Current Global, a consultancy transforming how consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more. 

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Nike celebrates Air Max Day with sneaker exhibit and sale

For this year’s Air Max Day, Nike is hosting an exhibition featuring 20 rare sneakers and giving consumers the chance to purchase them.

Titled “Rair”, the London-based exhibition is curated by media platforms The Drop Date and Sneaker Freaker, while streetwear resale platform StockX is stepping in to facilitate the sale of a selection of the shoes on display.

Twenty iconic Air Max styles will be on display, including the Parra x Nike Air Max 1 “Cherrywood” sneaker, which recently sold for £4,500. To ensure sneakerheards leave well-versed on each style’s history, individual shoes will be accompanied by a short description.

Nike’s Air Max Day is an annual celebration that takes place on March 26, the same date of when the first style of the shoe launched in 1987. Earlier this month, the brand launched a virtual store where limited edition items could only be purchased if the user had already bought an Air Max in the first place.

This year, the sportswear giant also launched “Give Fresh Air”, a campaign that encourages consumers in North America to donate their new or gently worn sneakers to partnering retail stores, which will then be distributed within the community.

Meanwhile last year, amidst the buzz surrounding gaming app HQ Trivia, Nike teamed up with the platform to sponsor a game that gave away 100 limited edition sneakers to lucky participants, as well as a grand prize of $100,000.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.