Before Astroworld, Travis Scott was one of Nike’s most lucrative collaborators: Any sneaker featuring the rapper’s name was considered equivalent to an investment; a chance to flex on social media; an exclusive item to later sell at an eye-watering markup. Immense hype and demand surrounded Scott’s products — that is, until the items were overshadowed by real lives lost, hundreds injured, and subsequent lawsuits from the artist’s music festival last November.
At the time, it seemed Scott would never recover the value of his personal brand, especially considering his efforts consisted of mumbled Instagram Story apologies, a controversial brand deal, and an interview where he denied all accountability for the events that unfolded at Astroworld. The rapper has slowly started to ease his way back into performing, however, and his partnership with Nike has been rescheduled despite everything. Whether or not Travis could regain the support (and profit) of his fans seemed unclear until this weekend, when over one million entries were reportedly submitted for a raffle of his upcoming Nike sneakers, according to TMZ.
Salvation mode — Both the “Grey Haze” and “Archaeo Brown” iterations of Scott’s Air Trainer 1 were released via a surprise raffle on the rapper’s website. The draw, open for only 30 minutes, allowed lucky entrants to gain early access to the sneakers and accompanying apparel before their official Nike release on May 27. An NRG GORE-TEX-lined jacket, Primaloft-infused vest and pants, black quarter-zip, and graphic tees were among the available items.
A look at what dropped.
Historically, demand for Scott’s sneakers has overwhelmed servers and left their releases susceptible to sneaker bots, making it hard to determine the legitimacy of all the entries. This time around, however, it seemed the rapper anticipated his usual hype: His team reportedly worked with developers to set up anti-bot protection to ensure the draw was fair. And with over one million entries received overall — in spite of the raffle’s lack of announcement and short run-time — there’s no question whether hype for Scott’s products remains.
More to come — For those that missed out on the raffle, the pair of Air Trainer 1 sneakers are set to officially release on May 27 via SNKRS and select Nike stockists, with each retailing for $160. The kicks will drop alongside two iterations of the Air Max 1 that were initially supposed to drop last December but were postponed after Astroworld.
As evident by the number of raffle entries, the sneakers’ official launch will surely be met with immense demand — and potential backlash. Not everyone is pleased with Scott’s comeback: Educator and researcher Alisha M. Brown took to Twitter to call out her disappointment with the sneaker community and its “obsession with problematic men,” including the rapper. “Why can’t y’all let him and his shoes go?” she asked on the platform. “Do y’all just not care?” Judging by the one million draw entries, apparently not.