The Kyrie 1 Is Nike's Way Of Making A Little Brother For The LeBrons

As the 20th NBA player to secure a Nike signature shoe, and the first since Kevin Durant in 2007, Kyrie Irving’s ascendance to super-stardom is now tangible and, on December 23, will be available.

With the unveiling of its latest line of basketball shoe, the Kyrie 1, Nike has assured us there is no such thing as market oversaturation when it comes to its esteemed kicks.

Driven by the momentum of LeBron’s return to Cleveland, viewership has certainly increased. Coverage of the Cavs increased, but how will the shoe itself compete globally when measuring up against the established, 12th rendition of Nike’s signature LeBron?

Well, think of it as a baseball team with one guy leading the league in home runs while the other guy leads the league in stolen bases and batting average: Who wins MVP?

It depends on preference.

It’s a new era in fashion – there are no rules. It’s all about the individual and personal style. – Alexander McQueen

Nike began with a clear and measurable objective: to extinguish the emergence of competitors through endorsements of star athletes. While highlighting propositions and channeling prospective endorsements, very few had the appeal and marketability of Kyrie.

Timing is everything — well, almost everything. There’s also programmatic media buying and strategic retargeting, but timing accounts for a lot.

Its December 3 unveiling in New York City leaves consumers just enough time to customize the product in time for Christmas, while at the same time, begin a three-week triage for enthusiasts, leading up to the #KYRIE1 release.

The social media barrage of marketing has made the release impossible to miss. Everyone from Charles Barkley to LeBron himself took part in welcoming the neophyte to the Nike fam.

At my boy k1irving signature shoe launch in NYC! Congrats homie and welcome to the signature family!!… — LeBron James (@KingJames) December 4, 2014

Competition has been known to benefit the consumer, but in recent marketing campaigns, subtle differences with similar messages have proven to be the foreground for effective branding.

Mark Parker and the good folks over at Swoosh headquarters in Beaverton certainly accounted for the regulatory risks when expanding. They also explored the compliance challenges, namely, the other three Cavaliers on the court with ‘Bron and Kyrie.

At $110, Nike effectively produced yet another suitable product, targeting a tertiary price point to compliment its premier counterpart and provide the consumer with yet another option. Happy Holidays!