This looks like a football, doesn't it? But to autograph collectors such as myself, this is $20 worth of gold.
Unfortunately, Nike thinks it is a football as well, so they ship these to stores in September, during the start of football season. Sounds like a marketing no-brainer, right? I mean if autograph collectors want to get a football signed, they would do so during football season, right?
No, they will want to get a football signed when they have ACCESS to the football players. This is a terribly important distinction to make. While the fall is a great time for collectors to get football players to autograph their Nike football, the spring and summer can be an even better time. Especially in recent years, the number of charity golf tournaments have taken off. At each of these tournaments, there are plenty of, you guessed it, football players participating. Football players that are quite happy to sign Nike autograph footballs.
But the problem is, when I go to my favorite sporting goods store to buy a Nike autograph football such as the one above, I am told 'Sorry, we're out, we'll get some more in-stock in September when football season starts'. So I end up buying a cheap knock-off that doesn't look as good, costs more, is of lesser quality, and Nike loses a sale. And let's not forget how popular spring football has become at college campuses all over the country. By only shipping these autograph footballs to stores in the fall, Nike is losing sales during at least 6 months.
All because Nike is giving me their product when they THINK I want it, and not when I actually NEED it.