Nike has a knack for understanding, interpreting and capitalizing on the signs of the time. As soon as I saw that the brand was dropping the What The Air Jordan 1 Doernbecher , I just cracked a smile. If you have been following the Jordan Retros’ trend via retail and third party marketplaces, you would have the similar reaction to this breaking news. The Jordan 1’s have been the hottest commodity when it comes to Jordan retros for the past three years. The silhouette’s shelf life is probably between 0-48 hours via retail especially in smaller sizes. There is a certain demographic that has been attracted to the Jordan 1’s, and Nike has made this model its bread and butter as far as Jordan signature shoes. Therefore the “What the Jordan 1 Doernbecher” being introduced comes to no surprise at all if you’re aware of Nike’s edit to amplify campaign. This shoe might turn out to be the sneaker of the year (2021). I first came across pictures of the AJ1 What The via instagram so I had to check Nike’s news to gather some more information. According to Nike,
Last year paused the annual Doernbecher Freestyle program, but not its sense of possibility, as seen in the uniquely inspired “What The” Doernbecher edition of the classic Air Jordan I Retro High OG model. The AJ I “What The” celebrates the 14 patient-designers from across the genealogy of Air Jordan Doernbecher editions, incorporating elements from each of their original Air Jordan Doernbecher designs.
We can gather from the quote above that the primary reason why the brand stopped the program is Covid-19, the stakes are too high especially since the designers are considered “people at risk”. But a bump on the road doesn’t mean that Nike doesn’t have a plan B, and the What The Jordan 1 DB was a heck of a genius plan for this year’s Doernbecher Jordan. Creating an intersection between the Covid-19 crisis, the DB program and the Jordan 1 was the ultimate masterplan and this is going to create a ruckus.
It would be great if Nike could produce a substantial amount of pairs ( 1million ) since the proceeds are meant to support research for the Doernbecher Hospital. According to Nike,
The Nike and Doernbecher Freestyle event has raised more than $29 million for OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital since 2003 to protect the health of children in Oregon, southwest Washington and beyond.
Let’s run some quick numbers, if Nike manufactures about 1 million pairs with a $170 retail price. Let’s assume that the brand sells about 40% of the inventory via its own stores and the remaining 60% via the distribution channel. We’ll need to make some assumptions.
- We’ll assume that the wholesale price will be $85
- Nike’s store price is $170
Revenues from the wholesale distribution channel will be = $85 x ( .6 x 1,000,000)=$51,000,000
and Revenues from Nike’s stores will be = $170 x (.4 x 1,000,000)= $68,000,000
All together the total revenue will be =$119,000,000. I’m not sure what the total production cost is, but let’s assume that the production is about 20% of the revenues.
Production will cost about =$119,000,000 x .20=$23,800,000 we can round it off to $25,000,000.
Nike’s total profit based on these assumptions will be=$95,000,000 which is 3.3 times the money that was raised since 2003
Even if Nike chose to give half of that profit away , it would be $47,500,000 which is about 1.63 times the money that was raised since 2003. What am I saying here? The brand can raise twice as much money in one year than was made in 17 years by producing 1,000,000 pairs. But this is pure utopia because As I was writing the post, I came across the following statement on Nike’s site
In honor of the 17th year of the program, only 17 pairs of the Air Jordan I “What The” Doernbecher were created. The first Air Jordan I “What The” Doernbecher, with a custom lasered box, was auctioned off during the Virtually Freestyle event on Feb. 25. The remaining 16 pairs will later be auctioned on eBay, and all proceeds from the sale of the AJ1 “What The” Doernbecher pairs will benefit OHSU Doernbecher patients and staff in a variety of different ways – from the delivery of advanced clinical treatment to the emotional support that helps to lift spirits and spread hope.
Now I can tell you what is going to happen. This has just given the replica industry the green light to make as many bootlegs of the pairs as possible. And I can guarantee you that people will not hesitate to pull the trigger on the fakes. It just makes no sense to me that the brand only chose to create 17 units of this beauty. Anyway here are some pictures of the sneaker and a breakdown of the elements that make up the colors.