Even when Nike tries to mitigate the unfairness that has arisen through purchasing limited release sneakers, their efforts seem half-assed. The dawn of the Twitter link has had sneakerheads clamoring for ways to beat the system in hopes of copping the most exclusive Air Jordans. First, they tried to render "sneaker bots", which are computer programs that can be purchased off the internet intended to jump the consumer to the front of the virtual line, obsolete. Nike introduced a reCAPTCHA application, designed to detect which consumers were actually human versus robotic; however, such attempts fell through as the bots inevitably found a way to bypass the barriers.
Taking another crack at combatting the bots, Nike has introduced an online raffle system for limited releases. With the hopes of putting the shoes in the hands of the real consumer, customers will now have to follow their local Nike store on Twitter and await a Twitter link to an entry page that will require input of their size to enter the raffle. Sneakerheads will have 24 hours to complete this process. The only Nike store to be involved with this system at the moment is Nike Chicago, but hopefully this is the effective solution Nike leadership has been searching for. It will be interesting to see if this has an effect on the secondary shoe market. Will the raffle allow more of the sneaker enthusiasts to purchase limited releases or does it perpetuate re-selling? For more details on the raffle head here.