Hakeem Olajuwon knew not every parent can afford to buy $120 sneakers, so he developed a sneaker that would cost only $35!
Consumerism has reached an all time high and the message sent by manufacturers of products via their advertising campaigns is actually doing damage in lower income communities.
Wealth has come to equal status, and Bill Gates and Michael Jordan are admired more for their status possessions than for their accomplishments.
In 1994 Nike's appeal to urban youth was the most obvious example of corporate marketing of high-cost status goods to lower-income households.
The psychological cost of this was much higher than they cared to think and the "American Dream" seemed out of reach for a janitor's kids.
That is why NBA star, Hakeem Olajuwon, decided to take a stand.
He asked: "How can a poor working mother with three boys buy Nikes or Reeboks that cost $120?" He answered the question himself: "She can't. So kids steal these shoes from stores and from other kids. Sometimes they kill for them. Parents must teach their kids a sense of value. Paying more doesn't mean its better. That's not value."
That is why Hakeem decided to work with Spalding to release a $35 sneaker under his name.
But unfortunately materialism was so deeply ingrained into American society by then, that even kids of a low income family did not want to show up at school in $35 sneakers if there were $120 sneakers on the market.