Today, Reebok has launched First Pitch, a digital platform that allows consumers to determine which sneaker releases make it to production.
Here's how it works. A selection of designers will come together to conceptualize a potential release, which will then be displayed on Reebok's site for a limited time. Shortly thereafter, fans will then be allowed to commit to buying the shoe starting at $1, which will go up an additional dollar each time until it reaches its target retail price, as well as reaching a goal of 500 pairs sold, otherwise the proposal will be scrapped. If the shoe meets the goal, it will be made and will ship to buyers approximately nine weeks later. Not only does this give fans the opportunity to cop sneakers they like, but also helps reduce the industry’s rapidly-growing environmental footprint.
"First Pitch arrives at a time when the industry is at a unique but critical junction, where consumers are demanding great digital experiences that also enable them to make more-mindful and considerate purchasing decisions," said Matt Blonder, the global head of digital at Reebok. "With a history of disruptive innovation, Reebok has an opportunity to leverage its technological and supply-chain expertise to shift the narrative of industry. First Pitch is a small but meaningful step in the right direction that not only sheds light on the unseen and invites them into the process, but encourages a more-thoughtful community of footwear consumers."
First Pitch will debut with the voting for the Reebok Classic Leather "Bee Keeper" pictured below opening on Aug. 10. Readers can also learn more about the platform here.