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Nike’s High Heat Release Policy? EQL Has You Covered

March 22, 2023
Andrew Lipp
CEO & Co-Founder, EQL

As consumer demand for high heat drops continues to sustain record growth, the challenges of managing these types of launches are still ruining the experience for consumers. Site crashes, scammers clearing out stock, accusations of backdooring, and ultimately real fans missing out. It's stressful for both retailers and consumers. The good news is EQL can help. 

EQL was born to help retailers manage these challenges and to help real fans get their hands on the products they love. 

You might have seen Nike's North America Product Launch Policy recently leak, or it may have recently hit your inbox. It includes many guardrails defining how retailers should run high heat launches. We've got some experience running these kinds of drops, but before we get into that, let's dig in and look at why the rules need to exist.

Launches can often descend into chaos. And when it goes bad, it's not a good look for retailers or brands. 

Launches are not your regular eCommerce. They are hard to run and require a lot of hands-on decks. Fans go into a frenzy as they swarm the site, madly and repeatedly pressing buttons. Regular eComm platforms aren't built for this. With that chaos, carts go out of sync, inventory management bugs out, payments run wild, and retailers are left with a mess to clean up. And that's just managing the legit human entries. Unhappy fans are caught up in the chaos, which blows back directly onto the retailer and the brand. If they can’t trust you, they won’t shop with you.

It feels unfair. 

Real fans are missing out all the time, it's part of scarcity, but the process can feel unfair. When you're always seeing individuals winning stacks of boxes, you become disenfranchised and angry. You likely post your frustration online, which is totally out of character. We get it, and believe it or not, so do brands. "Any PR is good PR" doesn't exactly ring true when it gets to this point. Fairness is critical, and ambitiously, it would be baked into all consumer interactions with the brand, with no exceptions. At EQL, we think that fairness is non-negotiable.  

Retailers are trying their best, but there's a lot to manage. Exhibit A: Nike Launch Policy

There are so many moving parts. And now a lot of boxes to check. A lot of responsibility sits on the Retailer to get it right, and if they don't - there's consequences. Given the hype around these launches, the excitement of consumers, and the ambition of the bad actors - it's understandable. This is a big business, after all. Is there such a thing as a perfect launch? We think so, but that's only because we've run over 2,500 of them globally. Are they easy to get, right? No. Should retailers have to distract themselves from their core business to ensure that every part of the process is squeaky clean? Okay, in theory, yes, that seems fair, but we appreciate it's an enormous task. 

Let us help with those new rules. 

If Nike wrote the policy, we wrote the playbook on how to run a smooth, fair and now compliant launch. Imagine if you could stick to all the guidelines with just a flick of a switch. 

What is it that EQL does? We are a launch platform that empowers retailers to manage the chaos while ensuring real fans get a fair shot at the products they love. We were recently named to Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies list in 2023 for doing just that, and we are just getting started. 

EQL has managed high-heat launches with global brands, including Nike Store Partners, Foot Locker, Crocs, UNDEFEATED, atmos USA, Extra Butter, STASHED, Sullivan's Cove, and many more across 14 markets. We just ran Tiffany's x Nike AF1 drop too. That was a big one. 

We have all of the rules of the Nike Launch Policy built into our tech. You'll never have to worry about them again. Looking for a list comparing the rules from the policy and what EQL does? We got you. 

  • Drawings done online or in-store ✅
  • One unit per consumer ✅
  • Random selection amongst participants ✅
  • Clearly defined time period and deadline to enter ✅
  • Flexibility to purchase online or in-store ✅
  • Disclose rules for drawings ✅
  • Reduce the risk of fraud ✅
  • Loyalty Programs ✅
  • Bot deterrence ✅

These terms of service were implemented to create a fairer, more equitable system for customers. Sticking to these terms can be a challenge for retailers, especially given the scale and complexity of the issues. It's time-consuming, overwhelming and difficult to manage on your own. You've got a lot on your plate, with only so many resources at your disposal, so figuring out where the next scam is coming from shouldn’t be where you put your energy. 

So, let's chat. We’re here to help. We can help you align with the policy, and let you get back to running retail.
Andrew Lipp
CEO & Co-Founder, EQL

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