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Nike’s Air Max cushioning technology is one of the key reasons (outside of the Air Jordans) for the company’s dominance of the sneaker industry. The visible air window in the heel of the shoe has become synonymous with Nike and its pursuit of athletic and design achievement. Ever since debuting the Nike Air Max 1s in 1987, the Swoosh has witnessed enormous popularity for the kicks with the air bubble, as the shoes became iconic not only on the race track, but also in the streets, becoming staples in style.

Air Max

This widespread adoration has led to Nike establishing a “holiday” for the sneaker, appropriately named Air Max Day on March 26th. Every year, Air Max Day celebrates the history and evolution of the respective sneakers and commemorates with an immersive consumer-facing event, Air Max Con. It sounds narcissistic for a billion-dollar corporation to create its own holiday, but if you have a cult following like Nike does, you might as well capitalize on it. Air Max Day, though, is executed tastefully, as it revolves around the passionate fans that have made the shoes successful.

Air Max Con 2016 was held in New York City, Hong Kong and Tokyo. At the NYC edition, thousands of sneakerheads were in attendance, wearing their best and most exclusive pairs of Air Max’s to the free event. Like most Nike brand activations, Air Max Con was well executed, featuring a number of interactive and innovative installations. There were photo stations, a snack bar presented by KITH, complimentary shoe cleaning by Jason Markk, artist demonstrations, sneaker customizations, and a huge collection of the most beloved Air Max shoes.

You could assume that Nike spent a good amount of to produce Air Max Con across three global cities, but it’s all just part of the strategy to maintain high consumer loyalty. It’s all about building a legendary lore, which ultimately leads to consumers thirsting for the brand. Nike is a master at creating hype and demand for its products.

Check out some of my photos form the event.

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Rex Pham

Originally from the Bay Area, who then moved to Los Angeles, then out to New York City. NYU Stern MBA c/o 2014. Inspired by the grind of NYC to create something that has value. Lover of all things digital, culture, and brand strategy.