Sneaker Shops See Boost From Nike Festival

Athletic retailers got an alley-oop from Nike’s World Basketball Festival.

The four-day event, which Nike and subsidiaries Jordan Brand and Converse held in Washington, D.C., this past weekend, added a boost to publicity and sales for its retail partners in the area. The brands held several basketball-related events throughout the city, including in-store appearances with athletes, basketball clinics and exhibitions, product showcases and musical performances. 

“Anytime you get a chance to partner with feature brands, Olympic athletes and famous celebrities, there is a tremendous opportunity,” said Brett Foelber, marketing manager for Baltimore-based Shoe City.

The retailer joined with Converse for an outdoor party that was free to the public on Saturday. Foelber said the event fueled buzz for the brand’s WBF-related footwear launches, which hit shelves this month.

“We have great expectations for all WBF- and Olympic-themed products,” Foelber said. “We’ve experienced great sell-through on the Olympic retro products from Nike and Jordan that launched in the earlier part of July.”

DTLR, also based in Baltimore, partnered with Jordan Brand to create a wear-testing experience in four of its Washington locations. And one of its stores played host to an appearance from Jordan Brand endorsers Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul.

The retailer’s marketing and promotions manager, Raasan Fuller, said the events helped attract more shoppers, as well as educate consumers about new product. “The activations drove so much traffic to the store,” he said. “We also wanted to enlighten people about the new products DTLR had from Jordan.”

With extra visitors in town to watch the U.S. national basketball team play an exhibition game against Brazil, Fuller added that the in-store events over the past weekend drew shoppers from outside the Washington area.

Other Nike-sponsored events throughout the weekend included a basketball showcase for military personnel and a tournament of international players 19 and younger.

Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike will hold a similar event in Barcelona, Spain, later this month.

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