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U.S. Sneakers Sales…$38 Billion Annually…But That’s Not All…

In an article published in today’s New York Times titled, “How Much Is That Sneaker in the Window? by Erica Berenstein, she points out that not only is the U.S. sneakers sales market an annual $38 billion dollar industry but that sneaker fanatics (a.k.a. “sneakerheads”) are willing to spend not only hundreds but thousands of dollars to get their hands on rare or limited edition sneakers.[1]

How about this quote from the New York Times piece, On a recent afternoon, for instance, a pair of white Nike Jordan 1’s by the fashion designer Virgil Abloh (Off-White, Louis Vuitton) originally priced at $190, was selling for $2,750. (No wonder it was enclosed in a glass case.) Nearby was a rare pair of Adidas PW Human Race NMD TR, designed by the musician Pharrell Williams. Price tag: $12,350.”

You can’t make this stuff up!

In a blog post, I published on May 3rd titled, “Nike Counterfeiter Sentenced on Money Laundering Too,”[2] the victims of that sentenced sneakers-counterfeiter would have clearly benefited from the GOAT verification model detailed in the New York Times article. See the following NYT’s quote:

GOAT (derived from the popular sports acronym, Greatest of All Time) …The Culver City, Calif., company started in 2015 as a mobile-focused marketplace with what’s called a “ship-to-verify” model. (Once a sale is made, the seller sends the product to GOAT distribution centers for verification, after which it is sent out to the buyer.)

“With hot sneaker styles costing $300 and up, ‘the last thing you want to be spending your money on is fakes,” said Mr. Lu, a co-founder, and chief executive officer. “For us, it was let’s build something that solves the growing problem of counterfeits and fakes.’”

Thumbs-up to GOAT and CEO Eddy Lu, and to Erica Berenstein of the New York Times for a revealing report.

[1] “How Much Is That Sneaker in the Window?” by Erica Berenstein, 5/13/2018, New York Times

[2] “Nike Counterfeiter Sentenced on Money Laundering Too,”, 5/03/2018.


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Ron Alvarez is an IP investigations and protection consultant and writer in New York City. He is a former NYPD lieutenant where he investigated robbery, narcotics, internal affairs, and fine art theft cases. Ron has since coordinated the private investigation of international fraud and money laundering cases, as well as IP-related investigations and research involving the four pillars of IP: copyright, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. Ron is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and earned a B.A. in Government and Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. He has written a number of articles for various investigative publications, as well as published "The World of Intellectual Property (IP) Protection and Investigations" in November 2021.

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