If there’s one thing we’re having to do progressively less of in life – it’s waiting. I want a film? I can download it to my Xbox or PS3. I want Music? I stream it off Spotify. So why do I have to wait 4-6 weeks to buy a new pair of football boots after I first see them?
Whilst I’m lucky to be a member of the Footy-Boots.com team, I’m also a huge fan of football boots full stop, and I’m as keen as anyone else to get my hands on a pair of new cleats and see what they’re like in the flesh – so why is there such a big waiting period between the reveal and the retail release?
adidas have to be one of the worst culprits when it comes to prolonged teasing periods. Take, for example, the new adiZero Prime – unveiled on New Year’s Day, but you couldn’t buy a pair until the 15th of February.
Compared to Puma – who reveal their football boots on the day they hit store shelves, and their new boots usually debut on a Saturday – which means you’ll also see them on the pitch for the first time on release day, too.
Whilst the fan in me wants the boots as soon as possible, I can’t help but wonder – which method is best for a brand to sell more football boots in the long run?
The advantages of an instant release are pretty obvious – a potential buyer sees the boots on their favourite player’s feet, or on a high-quality football equipment-based website and they can click on a link or go to a shop and buy them straight away.
As I said at the start of this piece, I think the age of hyping something up – like a new colourway – is slowly losing it’s effectiveness, and many people prefer to see something and buy it as soon as humanly possible.
Though I imagine that this approach is also more complex to pull off from a logistical point of view – not only do you have to make sure that all players and retailers have the new football boots well in advance of release to break in as they see fit and get ready to go on store shelves, you also have to contend with people boot-spotting your new colourway on the training ground, or retail employees leaking them onto the internet.
Product confidentiality is not the only area where the ‘instant release’ tactic has weaknesses; there’s also the matter of advertising your new football boots.
Going back to the adiZero Prime example, in the 6 weeks between reveal and release adidas not only had their biggest players wearing their highly-visible new football boots on the pitch, they also managed to launch not one, but two advertising campaigns (Speed Week and the new ‘The Lightest. The Fastest’ videos with Messi & Nasri) and numerous other virals.
The danger here, is that a prospective buyer who is considering the adiZero Prime as their next pair of football boots will go to buy them, realise that they’re not out for another month and go and buy an older model; or even worse, a boot from another brand altogether!
I also think that after 6 weeks, boots have lost a bit of their ‘Zing’. I’m sure I can’t be the only one that felt like they’d seen so much of the adiZero Prime when it finally landed in shops in February, it felt like it had been out for months already!
After 6 weeks of seeing it on the pitch, watching the ads, reading articles about it and catching interviews with players promoting it – the Primes didn’t feel that new when they finally came out.
My suggestion would be simply for brands to have a shorter period of waiting for their football boots – something around the two week mark would probably be about right, in my opinion.
Or if they feel they have to publicise their launch for 6 weeks, offering some sort of pre-order incentive would go a long way to making sure fans aren’t tempted to buy from another brand while they wait – a ball, boot bag or training top surely can’t be that hard to throw in when you’re charging £210 for a pair of football boots!
But as always on Footy-Boots.com, it’s what you think that matters most!
Do you want your boots as soon as you see them? Or do you enjoy the hype?
Even better – have you got a perfect scheme to get brands to advertise their boots, whilst still keeping eager fans happy?
Let us know in the comments!