PG2 sneakers by Nike. (Source: Nike)

Nike’s Limited Edition PlayStation Sneaker, the PG2, Vibrates on Your Feet

(Bloomberg) -- Gamers, you’ll want to set down your controllers for this. Sony Corp. and Nike Inc. announced on Saturday a collaboration on a limited-edition, PlayStation-inspired sneaker with Oklahoma City Thunder star and gaming enthusiast Paul George.

The PG2 sports the same hues as a PlayStation controller’s buttons (green, blue, pink, and purple), glow-in-the-dark rubber soles, and a starry galaxy print on the sock liner. The most entrancing feature, however, is a tongue that, with the press of a button secreted within the shoe, lights up and and vibrates like the aforementioned a PlayStation controller. The battery isn’t replaceable, but with a 150-hour lifespan, it should be fine so long as you remember to turn it off. The shoes will be available worldwide beginning February 10, with a price tag of $110.

Nike’s Limited Edition PlayStation Sneaker, the PG2, Vibrates on Your Feet

Nike, the brand that pioneered the limited-release sneaker with the original Air Jordans, has been amping up direct-to-customer sales of rare kicks as part of a broader business strategy. In a key earnings report last year, sales in the critical North American division fell 3 percent from a year earlier, raising the question: Could direct-to-customer sales of limited edition sneakers solve the problem of Nike’s stagnant sales?

In the past year, the company has unveiled a huge number of collaborations, which include the Nike SB Dunk High Pro “Momofuku,” a dark-denim line produced with New York-based chef David Chang; the Air Jordan 6 “Gatorade,” a lime green shoe inspired by the sports drink; and the Kith x Nike LeBron 15 "Long Live the King" collection with the Ronnie Fieg-helmed, street-gear retailer Kith, to name just a few.

Nike’s Limited Edition PlayStation Sneaker, the PG2, Vibrates on Your Feet

Two recent mobile app innovations—SNKRS Stash, which uses geo-locations to unlock access to prized Nike and Jordan products, and Shock Drop, which delivers alerts to purchase hard-to-find sneakers—have helped fuel demand.

The strategy is potentially lucrative for the shoe giant. Last year, Nike’s direct-to-customer channel grew eight times faster than its wholesale business. Although the category generated only $9.1 billion in revenue, roughly just 28 percent of Nike’s overall brand sales, it accounted for 70 percent of its growth. There’s no sign things will different in 2018: In September, Chief Executive Officer Mark Parker told Bloomberg that the company is fully committed to transforming the experience of shopping for Nikes into a more personal one. “Retailers who don’t embrace distinction will be left behind,” he said.

Nike’s Limited Edition PlayStation Sneaker, the PG2, Vibrates on Your Feet

 

To contact the author of this story: Rachel Tepper Paley in New York at ratepper@gmail.com.

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