Article Title: ‘Sneakerheads’ adept in the art of
“While the lucrative retail business for basketball shoes — and the
exclusive lines that attract overnight campers outside elite stores — have
existed for decades now, this teenager-filled marketplace (or high-end sneaker
exchange) has spread from city to city in the last few years.”
Find the definition of
lucrative and write it down, using your own words.Then, create a sentence using
1.In a flurry
of transactions, John, who is only 13 years old, bought, sold or exchanged 20
pairs of designer basketball sneakers and walked away with seven, four more
pairs than he started with. His collection’s retail value climbed to $________
14, of Freehold, N.J., has 81 pairs in his collection, helped a lot by gifts
from his parents. He estimates they’ve spent $11,000 on shoes and could probably
make $____________ if he sold them all.
lucrative retail business for basketball shoes — and the exclusive lines that
attract overnight campers outside elite stores — have existed for decades now,
this teenager-filled marketplace (or high-end sneaker exchange) has spread
footwear craze began 30 years or so ago.How did it start?
6.To this day,
no player’s line comes close to Nike’s Jordan branded footwear, sales of which
reached $2.5 billion last year.
basketball sneaker sales made up $_______ billion of the total $21 billion
athletic-shoe business, according to Princeton Retail Analysis.
8.What do these teenage
traders know about their products?
9.What is the demographic
selling and collecting shoes?
10.What happens at these
11.How do experts check to
make sure the shoes are authentic?
Class Discussion Questions and Essay Prompts:
·Have you heard of “Sneakerheads” previously?
·Do you know someone who buys/trades shoes?
·Would you ever try this?Why or why not?
Joseph Diorio, 34, the owner of SoleXChange, hosts and sponsors trading
events in major cities like New York and Miami and likens the sneaker trading
craze to the comic-book business. “I think collecting sneakers will live on
forever because there is a story behind every sneaker,” Diorio said.
·Do you agree or disagree with Diorio?Why or why not?
At the smaller convention attended by John Leonardo and a few hundred
teenagers, Nicole Cavallero, a language-arts teacher at Pine Brook School in
Manalapan and the mother of a 12-year-old trader, watched as shoes switched
“This scene is absolutely insane, but I know that this is all the rage,”
she said, adding that she gave her son, Dominick, and one of his
friends a lesson in bargaining on the way to an event. “As parents we need to
encourage them not to be taken advantage of but also to get their money’s
·Is this bartering and exchange system the best way for teens for learn
about money, learning how not to be taken advantage of and getting their money’s
worth?Why or why not?
·How have your parents taught you the same lessons?
“These kids make 10 to 12 transactions and before you know it, they have
a $2,000 pair of sneakers or a real nice collection of shoes,” said Suraj
Kaufman, the owner of two popular Nike footwear stores in New Jersey called
Sneaker Room, in Bayonne and Jersey City. His stores have more than 66,000
followers on Facebook. “It’s really amazing to see.”
·How are teens getting thousands of dollars to fund this hobby?
While money or shoes change hands successfully on these Saturday
afternoons, trades using Instagram and other social media have become so popular
that a new shoe — ordered online with the purchase snapped via Instagram — may
not have even arrived before it is resold by some enterprising youth. Online and
off, business is brisk.
“I can see sneakers becoming even bigger than the baseball-card scene,”
predicted George Rahor, who teams with his son, Steven, 14, in “Street Heat Sole
& Style Expo” events, and who used to run baseball-card shows in the 1990s.
·Would you buy things online, sight unseen, for large amounts of money?
·Do you think sneakers will become bigger than baseball cards?Why or why not?
At the Manhattan event last month, one young vendor turned away $98,000
in cash for his Nike Air Yeezy 2 Red October sneakers, designed by
Kanye West and signed by the artist himself onstage at the Nassau Coliseum in
“I know I could buy a house with this kind of money,” said the vendor,
Jonathan Rodriguez, 18, of Deer Park, N.Y., who said he planned to enlist in the
“But I’m a huge Kanye West fan. I can just work to get the money. The
only way I’m selling them is if there is a reason that I need to sell or I’m
offered life-changing money.”
Do you think $98,000 for a pair of shoes is life-changing money?Why or why not?
Why do you think Rodriguez turned away a vendor that wanted to buy his shoes,
signed by Kanye West, for that amount?
What draws kids to becoming “Sneakerheads?” Do you think this trend will
last a long time?Why or why not?Would you invest your own money to purchase and trade expensive tennis
shoes?Why or why not?
Newspaper-related CBA activity:U.S.
How the United States government interacts with the world affects people across
the globe.Analyze and evaluate the
causes and effects of US foreign policy on people in the United States and
across the world.
Using The Seattle Times e-edition, find an article from this week that deals
with world politics or foreign policy.
What are the main points of view from someone living in that particular country?How is that “view” similar and different than your own opinion, regarding
the specific issue the article is discussing?
·Why is it important to
study and learn about foreign policy?How does it help you understand the world we live in, using current
issues and events?
Civic Minds in The Seattle Times is posted to the Web on Friday. Please share
the NIE program with other teachers. To sign-up for the electronic edition of
the newspaper please call 206/652-6290 or toll-free 1-888/775-2655.