It’s a big week for New Balance programs. After sort of getting into the resale game, New Balance is hopping on the #TeamEarly wagon with a new "Early Access" initiative.
New Balance’s Early Access is exactly how it sounds, really. The Boston-based sneaker brand is allowing fans to cop the sneakers they want before public launches.
We’ve seen this implemented with several brands and retailers for buzzy drops over the years. Salehe Bembury often takes this approach with his footwear collaborations, including his most recent New Balance 1906R. Given the hyped nature of his shoes, the designer often encourages fans to sign up for early access emails to shop them before they drop publicly Bembury’s collabs are frequently gone in the blink of an eye, but it helps being a little early.
Nike is also quite familiar with the "early access" concept, granting exclusive chances to cop sneakers based on demographics, random selections, and even the amount of Ls you’ve taken. I’m not telling two truths and a lie, by the way. The last one is no joke.
New Balance’s Early Access method is a little different. First, you must have a New Balance account to participate. From there, account holders can enter a raffle for early access to an upcoming drop.
If you win the drawing, New Balance will email you, letting you know you’re in for Early Access on say, that 550 or 9060 you wanted. After that, you can shop the sneaker drop on a first-come-first-serve basis.
It’s more complex than a simple email sign-up or the surprise SNKRS access notification. Essentially, it’s a 50/50 chance of being #TeamEarly with the New Balance drawing. Plus, folks still have to battle those who also secured New Balance’s Early Access on that same launch.
I also can’t help but wonder if New Balance’s Early Access eliminates the "waiting room" situation. "Waiting rooms" often happen with huge drops, placing shoppers in digital queues and giving them a waiting time for their chance to purchase. Depending on the drop, it could be hours till you get to shop…and by then, the shoes are usually long gone.
On the bright side, it does make copping New Balances a little easier, that’s if you score Early Access and successfully check out.