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Snapchat Opens A Store - And Takes Aim At A Trillion-Dollar Industry

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Snap had limited success selling its own Spectacles glasses, despite releasing special kiosks in cities across the world to launch them. But maybe the company will have more luck with sneakers: tonight at an NBA All-Star event in downtown Los Angeles, Snap began selling Jordan brand shoes within Snapchat. It's part of a new plan that could one day make Snap a sizable competitor in the $3 trillion world of e-commerce.

[Image: courtesy Snap Inc.]

"When we look at doing digital marketing, we really want to make sure we engage the community with something the consumer has never seen before," says Dan Harbison, Global Sr. Director of Digital at the Jordan brand. "Looking at what the list is from a technological standpoint, augmented reality, mixed reality, and virtual reality have been out there for a couple years. But we wanted to make sure we did it with purpose, and did it meaningfully."

For the Jordan brand, creating that moment came in two parts. First, the company worked with Snap to build a custom World Lens to commemorate the 30-year anniversary of Michael Jordan's legendary free throw line dunk. Using a highly detailed player model that was actually sculpted for the NBA2K video game, Snap users around L.A.–or those who spotted the lens's QR code on social media–can pull up a life-sized augmented reality experience in which a 6'6″ Michael Jordan, complete with his sinewy, 1988 frame, is flying four feet off the ground toward the hoop. Since he's floating in real space, you can even walk through this moment you've seen played back countless times in sports history.

Tap the screen, and Jordan becomes a black and white photograph. Look closely, and you also notice he's changed, too–now wearing an All-Star uniform, and a new pair of kicks. Those shoes are the unreleased AJ III Tinker, set to come out in March.

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