Foot Locker, Nike jump-start NBA season with House of Hoops pop-up
- Foot Locker extended its House of Hoops brand with HOH Courtside, pop-up stores that will appear at key moments during the basketball season, according to a press release. The debut was last Thursday at LA Live, celebrating LeBron James's first game with the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, and will open again at the Monday night game. House of Hoops is a joint retail venture of Foot Locker and Nike.
- Foot Locker also introduced last week an augmented reality (AR) game called "The Hunt" as an update to its mobile app for the iOS only. Foot Locker plans to use AR to offer exclusive content to consumers, as well as experiences keyed to limited-release product drops. As part of the event in Los Angeles, game players will be able to unlock the opportunity to buy the limited edition LeBron 16 King shoes in the color "Court Purple."
- HOH Courtside offers exclusive footwear launches and a "makers" experience along with product from Nike, Jordan and Converse.
Foot Locker got a jump on the new basketball season with a three-pronged marketing event using hot promotional tactics. In a joint venture with Nike, there is a pop-up store that has appeared at the opening of the Los Angeles Lakers' season and the start of LeBron James's tenure with the team. There also is an AR "hunt" game for consumers which can unlock the third prong: limited-edition shoes in James's Nike line.
The pop-up store includes Nike Basketball, Jordan, Nike Sportswear and NBA licensed apparel lines, as well as a "makers" customization space. House of Hoops has 185 physical retail locations in the U.S. where the HOH Courtside concept also will be integrated.
Pop-up stores remain a current way to take advantage of seasonal and event opportunities. They are a good way for e-commerce companies to test the brick-and-mortar potential for their lines. For example, online furniture retailer Wayfair plans two pop-ups this holiday season in Natick, Massachusetts, and Paramus, New Jersey. Brandless, which manufactures and sells food, beauty and household supplies under its own label found success with a pop-up in West Hollywood, California, last spring and now plans to bring its "Pop-Up with Purpose" to New York City this week.
The HOH Courtside pop-up follows another such partnership with Nike, dubbed the Sneakeasy, which ran last fall in New York City offering a curated selection of Nike and Jordan products and services. The Foot Locker app also presented users with exclusive Nike shoes. This could help offset the impact on Foot Locker of Nike's direct-to-consumer sales through Amazon and Walmart-owned Jet.com, though as of last year Foot Locker was still the top seller of Nike brand shoes.
Nike has also opened its own pop-ups, including the Nike Live concept store in Los Angeles, which is a permanent location with "pop-up vibes," according to the company. The HOH Courtside promotion around James and the Lakers follows the addition of controversial football player Colin Kaepernick to Nike's "Just Do It" campaign, which resulted in a 1,400% increase in social media buzz for the athletics retailer.
Nike has been lauded for its successful use of apps in marketing, including shopping and activity apps. The athletic shoemakers have also seen good results from promotions on social media. Nike sold out of a sneaker drop promoted on Facebook Messenger in less than an hour and previously sold out of an Air Jordan Snapchat pre-release in 23 minutes (a platform Adidas has also used to sell out of a new shoe).