Recently it has come to everyone’s attention that LeBron is wearing the LeBron Ambassador line more frequently this season. The LeBron Ambassador line is a signature line of LeBron James which is released mainly in Asia every year.
Starting from 22nd of January, LeBron was seen wearing the Ambassador 13s in 6 of his 7 games. This is an unusual behaviour considering LeBron almost never wore the LeBron Ambassador line on court in his career. This has raised several concerns regarding the LeBron 18, as LeBron maybe opting out for the Ambassadors for performance reasons.
Some of the issues people raised of the LeBron 18s were that the Air Max tongue was too uncomfortable and the lack of outrigger meant that you were more likely to roll your ankle. However, an argument that goes against the performance issues of the LeBron 18 is the fact that LeBron wore them throughout the NBA Finals last year. If there were a performance issues with the LeBron 18, LeBron probably wouldn’t have worn them in one of the most important games that would have an impact in defining his career.
The most logical answer is that it’s a marketing plan for Nike. Whilst the LeBron 18 is an amazing performance shoe mainly due to its solid materials and cushioning, the price tag of around $200 to $225 (special colourways) means that it doesn’t come cheap. Nike needs a LeBron signature line that is able to target an audience that can’t or aren’t willing to buy the premium LeBron 18s. That’s where the Ambassador line stands out as it comes at a cheaper price of $170.
There is the existence of the LeBron Soldier line which use to be as popular as the main signature line and played a similar role. But, it has died out in popularity in recent years with LeBron wearing them less every year. Rather than making an effort to revive a dying signature line it looks like Nike has made the decision to push a “new” signature line to appeal to an audience looking for cheaper LeBron sneakers.
With LeBron James wearing the Ambassadors on court more often, the sneaker audience in the States and the EU are becoming more aware of the third LeBron signature line they didn’t know existed. With the popularity in the Ambassador line is expected to increase, with its growing publicity, we can expect the LeBron Ambassadors to finally release in the States after being an Asia exclusive for almost 21 years.