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CWK

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#24 [url]

Jun 21 12 10:31 AM

Woke up to a lot of questions smiley: laugh.

- Rock, I was with NIKE from about 1996 - 2002.  And you're right -  there have been many changes in the decade since I was in Beaverton.  I've tried to preface my answers to clarify that.  If anyone notices information that is outdated or inaccurate, feel free to correct me. 

- In regards to my collection:  At its peak, I owned about 250 shoes, including 100 - 150 different NBA pro make-ups (player exclusives).  For a while I was able to visit a friend in sports marketing and grab most of the surplus shoes in my size at the end of each NBA season (15.5 - 16).  Believe it or not, they used to sell leftover player exclusives at the Portland Nike Outlet on MLK and on a card table in the back of the Employee Store for $10 each.  It's a little more difficult to get them now.  I only collected in my size, so I had a lot of stuff from Pippen, Duncan, Finley, VC, Reef, etc...

- I honestly didn't encounter any "a-holes" on campus, but there was one situation that bothered me.  I was called into the office of a category manager and questioned about the player exclusives I was wearing to work.  Yikes!  I explained the circumstances under which I had acquired the shoes and immediately offered to return them if it was a problem.  They didn't make me give them back.  It just seemed like they were busting my chops for being a new guy and having what little connections I had at the time.  I guess there were more senior employees that were used to getting the hook up first.  But I learned that the protocols and processes were different once you were actually on campus.

- I have a few favorite moments.  I got to tour Tinker's design studio.  I received an unexpected giant shipping carton of TWELVE Jordan player exclusives at one time.  I was a volunteer coach for the Special Olympics on campus.  I dated an olympic gold medalist and she was taller than me (6'8").  The business and personal conversations with designers, developers, and non-employees like Russ Bengston from SLAM.

- I ended up leaving NIKE because my contract ended and there was a hiring freeze in several categories.  If I remember correctly, there was mandatory wait time of six months before you could re-apply for the same position.  I eventually returned home to Texas, finished my undergrad, and worked in student services for some local universities and medical schools. 



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CWK

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#25 [url]

Jun 21 12 10:40 AM

- I appreciate the concerns about confidentiality.  It's not my intention to reveal any propietary information or trade secrets.  Just trying to share my experiences and knowledge.   

Here is a chronological list of my positions:

- Retail Concept Shop Specialist
- Footwear Focus Group Member
- Basketball Sports Marketing Intern (Texas)
- Basketball Sports Marketing Intern (Oregon)
- Hoops Specialist (NIKETOWN)
- Test Coordinator

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CWK

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#26 [url]

Jun 21 12 10:51 AM

- Viewing shoes that haven't released yet is going to be difficult unless you work for a store with a NIKE account.  Reps used to give clinics where they would show samples of advance product, but it's my understanding that the focus now is what's currently in the store as opposed to what's coming out.  There used to be a lot of threads about sample sales as recently as a few years ago, but that seems to have stopped.  Does anyone out there know if those still happen?  The only place I've seen samples in person within the past five years is on the hash walls in NIKE Outlets and Clearance Stores.  Reps also used to be allowed to sell their sales samples (usually size 9 and 13) to approved mom and pop stores (like Active Athlete in Houston) but I don't know if NIKE still does that.  Sorry I couldn't be of more help in this area.

 

 

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EuGeNiLe GTS

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#27 [url]

Jun 21 12 10:59 AM

What is the best way to land a retail job just at the local nike outlet?


It looks like everything is via online as for as applications. Is it strictly that way to make hiring decisions, or is it imperative to reach out to the store manager. From what the Nike website looks like, perhaps they filter out the applications then send it over to store manager to sort on who to pick.

Maybe a silly question I know, but I am serious. Looking for a part time job thats all. 

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CWK

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#28 [url]

Jun 21 12 11:02 AM

- The pay was competitive, but I was never at a really high pay level.  I relocated across the country for an internship to see if I could make it on campus and land my dream job.

- I'll search my archives to see if I can find more pictures of my collection.

 

I got these OG AJ III from a guy in NIKE Netherlands who assured me they were worn by Scottie Pippen.

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CWK

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#29 [url]

Jun 21 12 11:10 AM

- I assume the employment applications for NIKE retail are online now, but I would definitely recommend speaking to a manager in person.  Just introduce yourself, leave a physical copy of  a cover letter and/or  resume, and thank them for their time.  You have to promote yourself in a courteous, appropriate manner.

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maaarc.niketalk

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#30 [url]

Jun 21 12 11:14 AM

interesting.. thanks for sharing all of this info CWK smiley: pimp

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lynchpin33

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#31 [url]

Jun 21 12 11:20 AM

Being a former Nike Basketball employee can you justify the price hikes in basketball shoes? -i.e. the basketball + technology and the "elite" shoes.  I mean what are we paying for the technology, the testing process, the material of the shoes or what?  



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johngotty

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#32 [url]

Jun 21 12 11:22 AM

Looking at your employment dates, this may be hard to answer, but do you remember any specific conversations about customer complaints regarding quality?

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#34 [url]

Jun 21 12 11:48 AM

As far as athletes go, who was the coolest/most down to earth to work with? And on the flipside of that, who was the most arrogant or not open to suggestions? Just wondering.

Thanks man, this is a great thread!

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CWK

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#35 [url]

Jun 21 12 11:53 AM

- My exposure to customer complaints about quality was limited to weartester feedback.  Our R&D team was in a unique position, in that we were able to address the issues before the shoe was launched.  There were times that I saw shoes taken directly off of testers' feet (including mine) and dissected to explore a problem.  Once a shoe is released to the public, NIKE is very good about replacing shoes due to a manufacturer defect or intended wear during the warranty.  I also handled customer complaints (both legit and janky) as a retail specialist.

- I really don't know what to say about the price hikes.  $250 seems excessive for the elites.  After reviewing the procuct description, the only differences I can see between the elites and the general release are the carbon fiber shank and Pro Combat padding.  I personally think consumers (i.e. young males) are buying these for a status symbol to show they can afford them, not play in them.  I did the same thing as a high school student in the 80's. smiley: laugh  The other price increases across footwear categories seem to be justifiable.

Last Edited By: CWK Jun 21 12 12:08 PM. Edited 1 time.

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vcof2005

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#36 [url]

Jun 21 12 12:45 PM

I've had the fortune pleasure to visit the Nike Campus (class trip and professor knew several workers) and I have wanted to return since. I have several internship, degrees, met people and kept in touch, and even have a friend who recently interned this past fall. It seems like I have done everything and get no call backs for positions. Is there any way to tweek my resume a certain "Nike" way to become better noticed?

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HOVKid

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#37 [url]

Jun 21 12 12:48 PM

CWK wrote:
- When I was with NIKE, several years ago, releases weren't really a source of controversy yet.  I didn't work in that area first hand, so I can't speak from personal experience.  For what it's worth, I think they're making progress with the new policies in an effort to create a safer environment at stores.  I'm not sure what really could be done to eliminate resellers entirely, but I wear a size 16 and I haven't been able to purchase a new shoe on the release date in a long time.  The secondary market is just an annoying reality of supply and demand economics. 

- Yes, NIKE Basketball and Brand Jordan do share R&D.  Although each brand has a separate developers and designers, they often collaborate.  And footwear testers play in both brands.  The higher profile products, such as Air Jordans or statement level NIKE shoes are frequently tested in more controlled environments like the Bo on campus (these are called "dynamic" session) or they are assigned to trusted, veteran individuals or teams.  This makes sense because technologies such as Hyper, Lunar, and Flywire are utilized by both brands.
It actually does not need to be that way.  Why can't Nike have a form that gets delievered to you if you sign up for it that allows you to prepurchase releases before they go to the factory to be made?  That way, everybody that really wants a pair is guaranteed to get them.  Its really not that hard. 

Do they intentionally try to create the frenzy they create?



  

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160jordansdeep

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#38 [url]

Jun 21 12 12:52 PM

HOVKid wrote:
CWK wrote:
- When I was with NIKE, several years ago, releases weren't really a source of controversy yet.  I didn't work in that area first hand, so I can't speak from personal experience.  For what it's worth, I think they're making progress with the new policies in an effort to create a safer environment at stores.  I'm not sure what really could be done to eliminate resellers entirely, but I wear a size 16 and I haven't been able to purchase a new shoe on the release date in a long time.  The secondary market is just an annoying reality of supply and demand economics. 

- Yes, NIKE Basketball and Brand Jordan do share R&D.  Although each brand has a separate developers and designers, they often collaborate.  And footwear testers play in both brands.  The higher profile products, such as Air Jordans or statement level NIKE shoes are frequently tested in more controlled environments like the Bo on campus (these are called "dynamic" session) or they are assigned to trusted, veteran individuals or teams.  This makes sense because technologies such as Hyper, Lunar, and Flywire are utilized by both brands.
It actually does not need to be that way.  Why can't Nike have a form that gets delievered to you if you sign up for it that allows you to prepurchase releases before they go to the factory to be made?  That way, everybody that really wants a pair is guaranteed to get them.  Its really not that hard. 

Do they intentionally try to create the frenzy they create?



  
I think we all know the answer to that. 

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jbv1

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#39 [url]

Jun 21 12 12:54 PM

Thanks CWK for sharing; being an ex Swoosh employee, I'd like to ask a few questions.

1) How do you feel about the current state of Nike's lines across the board of hybridizing and bastardizing rehashed retroes? Do you think creativity is dead @ HQ and they are just playing it safe using mix and match?

2) Why is it so hard to reproduce a retro faithfully, right down to the colur scheme? I understand for cost cutting purposes and maintaining profit margin but from a veteran employee be honest please don't painted midsoles & less than underwhelming faux alien pleather sadden/anger/annoy/frustrate you?

3) Did any of the people on campus predict/guess that retroes would be as big as they are now? And that eventually JB would stale and complacent?

You must be glad to have been with them in the heyday of most of their tech launches... full footbed Max Air, early Shox, TN, Tempo, Unlimited, Air Force Max, etc, etc....

Sorry, I'm at work and just throwing some ??? on screen. Thanks in advance if you can reply.

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