What You Need to Know About Nike’s New Sneaker Raffles

Air-Jordan-1-Pinacle
Nike Air Jordan 1 Pinnacle.
Courtesy of Nike

In a move to combat bots, Nike Inc. this week unveiled a new online system that will be linked to its in-store sneaker launch events. The company said it will help Nike “provide a more secure and premium in-store launch event for sneaker enthusiasts.”

Using one of the Nike Store’s official Twitter accounts, the company will announce when and if launch products will be available via an online lottery. To participate, users must sign into their Nike+ account, which will be authenticated via a text message to the shopper’s’ mobile device.

When the drawing is under way, users must select their desired shoe, size and Nike store purchase location before the allocated time runs out. Entering for more than one shoe style, Nike said, does not affect one’s odds of being selected.

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Once the deadline has passed, Nike will conduct a random lottery and notify winners of their eligibility to purchase the launch product via email within 24 hours.

Nike said all entries in the drawing have an equal chance of being selected and that speed of entry is not a factor as long as the entry is submitted before the drawing closes.

Nike Chicago is the first and currently the only Nike store so far to sign on to participate in the online lottery, announcing via Twitter that it hold a drawing starting on June 18 for three styles being released on June 20.

The announcement of the raffle system follows several online product-launch cancellations the sneaker-and-apparel mega-company had to absorb due to interference from Internet bots — software applications that perform automated tasks over the Web.

On May 29, Nike announced that it was cancelling the online launch of the Air Jordan I Pinnacle and the Air Jordan I High OG Varsity Red in North America, as well as the launch of the Air Jordan I High OG Varsity Red in mainland China because bots had been “compromising the experience around specific products.”

“We’re working hard to make sure that real consumers are the ones getting access,” Nike said in May.

The new system, the company said, is a step in that direction.