Just over a week after 10 people died and 300 were injured at Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival, Nike has announced it will postpone the launch of Scott’s collaborative Air Max 1 sneakers. “Out of respect for everyone impacted by the tragic events at the Astroworld Festival, we are postponing the launch of the Air Max 1 x Cactus Jack,” the brand said in a statement on its SNKRS app.
Previously, two Air Max 1 x Cactus Jack sneakers were scheduled to release on December 16. The pairs are two of five co-branded Air Maxes expected to release; Nike has a total of 10 other sneakers in the works with Scott. When they’ll actually come to fruition is undetermined.
La Flame burns out — Since Astroworld, video game Fortnite has quietly removed a Scott-themed emote from its platform, while resale prices for the rapper’s Nike sneakers have collectively lowered — perhaps a coincidence, but perhaps not. Fans and brands alike are distancing themselves from the Travis Scott brand, which now doesn’t seem as desirable as it did before.
Nike’s decision to postpone the rapper’s sneakers comes after more than 200 people filed lawsuits against Scott, fellow Astroworld performer Drake, and multiple event organizers. As legalities — and deaths — start to mount, all Scott-adjacent brands are subject to scrutiny.
Cactus Jack lives on? — That said, the sneakers are postponed, not canceled — meaning Scott is still a Nike collaborator, and his 10 other Cactus Jack models will most likely come to life eventually. For Nike, a delay costs less than canceling its collaborations with Travis altogether. The brand has already invested what may be millions of dollars in his sneakers, and waiting for its payoff is better than not seeing one at all. How Nike will decide a right timeline for the shoes’ launch — and all other subsequent Scott releases — may be up to how well the public reacts to Scott’s reparations after the Astroworld tragedy.
Scott and his public relations team have tried their best to minimize damage to his brand. In a press release, Scott announced he would cover the funeral costs of the victims, while also providing mental health resources for all attendees — although he’s already faced criticism for the latter. The rapper has also faced scrutiny for his history of encouraging raging crowds; a factor which made Astroworld “predictable and preventable,” one lawsuit claims.
Nike’s next Cactus Jack sneaker probably won’t launch for months, out of respect for the victims and to mend the fading image of Scott’s brand. Whether the shoes will see the same demand and resale prices as before is unclear.