“Rapper Travis Scott’s fans got goosebumps when word spread that he was collaborating with Nike on a new SB Dunk shoe. When the sneakers finally dropped in his online store Saturday, they quickly sold out.” — CNN Business, February 23
When I first spoke to the people at Nike about collaborating with them on a Ross Murray sneaker, they said, “Dude, your breath…”
After a mint and some serious reflection about eating Shawarma at lunch, I returned to Nike to continue my pitch. They were all ears, which is unusual for a company so focused on feet.
“When my fans hear that I’m putting out a new Nike shoe—”
“When we put out a new shoe, you mean,” said the Nike dudes, in unison, as Nike dudes do.
“Fine. When fans hear you’re putting out a new Ross Murray Nike shoe, I want the tiny muscles at the base of their follicles to contract and force their hairs erect!”
“Goosebumps,” they said.
“There’s no time to watch 90s children’s horror anthologies! We’ve got sneakers to make!”
We set to work to create a running shoe that would be true to the Ross Murray brand. I wanted a shoe that was sleek. I wanted a shoe that was stylish. I wanted a shoe that cost $150.
“I need something that reflects my tendency for density and capacity for perspicacity,” I said. “I want their release to be splashed all over social media and business outlets as if it were a legitimate news story and not a glorified advertisement. This is going to be bigger than SB Dunk shoes now available through the online store of country singer Travis Scott.”
“Uhh, Travis Scott is a rapper,” said my Nike confrères.
“Really? ‘Travis Scott’? That’s not a country singer name? He doesn’t sing ‘I Lost My Loopy Liver in the Mississippi River’?”
“Huh… Anyway, let’s do even better than— You’re sure he’s not a country singer?”
This went on for a while.
Then we talked marketing. And by “we,” I mean mostly me, based on my highly lucrative career as a self-published author with book sales in the tens if not twenties.
“I want this shoe to drop like it’s a big deal,” I said. “Then we’ll introduce another shoe almost like it but even better. But not yet. Later. In a while. Let’s wait for the other shoe to drop.”
Then we had snacks.
After the surprisingly well-preserved Dunk-A-Roos, we did a meeting with the Nike designer assigned to the project: actress Sally Field, likewise surprisingly well preserved.
I was at first taken aback that an Academy Award-winning actress and former flying nun was to head my design team, but I was up for it. “People can have diverse talents and wear many hats,” I said to the star of Kiss Me Goodbye with Jeff Bridges and James Caan as a ghost, “and I can’t deny the fact that right now you’re Nike. You’re really Nike!”
So Sally Field left.
But that was okay. We could design our own shoes, even without the former paramour of Burt Reynolds or even Loni Anderson for that matter.
It took days of brainstorming and weeks of bonspieling but finally we came up with something that was true to the Nike spirit of “Just Do It” and the Ross Murray spirit of “Just Donuts.”
The Ross Murray J4BB3EEEX% Umlaut SlapDash 3000 Choo-Choo Trainer is a basketball shoe for people who don’t play basketball but can explain what a five-second closely guarded foul is, although incorrectly.
It features high tops and low expectations. The shoes are not just biodegradable but all-around degrading. They come in a vague assortment of colours with a youthful style they can no longer quite pull off and arch support that’s really just postponing the inevitable.
The shoe is incredibly lightweight because, like Ross Murray, it is thin-skinned and has virtually no sole.
“Can we incorporate licorice?” I asked the Nike nabobs. “I feel it should have bite-size bits of black licorice.” But Nike nixed the Nibs.
At last we were done! We had designed a basketball training shoe with my name! Someone with nothing to do with basketball, sports or even too many thoughts about feet if I’m being perfectly honest.
Unfortunately, sales did not go well, not because consumers learned that the J4BB3EEEX% Umlaut SlapDash 3000 Choo-Choo Trainers were made in the sweatiest of shops but because the leather used was primarily taken from the accumulated hearing organs of endangered felines.
They were all ears. As previously mentioned.