Michael Jordan's Sneakers breaks record

Tuesday , 09 November 2021

Michael Jordan's Sneakers breaks record

It seems secondhand sneakers are fast becoming rivals to fine art.  Old trainers have become the new Picassos, a fact confirmed by Michael Jordan’s Nike Air Ship trainers selling for nearly $1.5m to smash auction record at a luxury sale in Las Vegas.

The white and red leather high-tops featuring Nike’s iconic swoosh was the one worn by Michael Jordan during his fifth NBA game in his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls on November 1, 1984.

The shoes were estimated to sell between $1 million to 1.5 million before the auction.

The selling price achieved by the sneakers allowed it to make it to the record books as it was the highest price achieved for a pair of game-worn footwear from any sport at an auction, according to Sotheby's auction house. The footwear also became the first pair of sneakers to sell for more than $1 million at auction. It is worth mentioning that the previous record of $615,000 was also held by a pair of Air Jordans. It was sold at an auction by Christie’s.

The Nike Air Ship shoes were what the NBA superstar wore in the fifth game of his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls, where Jordan’s team was defeated by the Denver Nuggets. It was in the same year that saw the beginning of a long-running collaboration of the superstar with the world's leading designer, marketer, and distributor of authentic athletic footwear and apparel. Jordan was given his range of shoes and clothes, which would later go on to become a household brand name and make Jordan a billionaire. The size 13 shoes were gifted by Jordan to the Denver Nuggets ball boy, Tommie Tim III Lewis, after the game, and they have been kept in "good overall condition" — according to Sotheby's — ever since.

Trainers have a long history of generating hysteria among fans who, tempted by savvy marketing campaigns and internet hype, are often seen queuing up outside, not averse to spending large sums on new releases and limited-edition styles.

In April, Kanye West’s first pair of Yeezys sold at a mind boggling price tag of $1.8m at a private auction, setting the record for the most expensive pair of trainers ever sold. The pair of black leather high-tops were worn by the rapper at the Grammys in 2008. 

About Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is widely regarded by many as the greatest basketball player of all time. According to Forbes, Jordan with a net worth of $1.6 billion, is the fifth wealthiest Black man in America, behind Robert F. Smith, David Steward, Oprah Winfrey, and Kanye West.

Jordan is also the NBA's only Black principal owner. He became part-owner and head of basketball operations for the Charlotte Bobcats (now named the Hornets) in 2006 and became the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets in 2010. He also helped form NASCAR's 23XI Racing and employed Bubba Wallace, the sport's only Black driver. Jordan played 15 seasons in the NBA, winning six championships with the Chicago Bulls, and helped popularize the NBA around the world. He was the main contributor to the success of Nike's Air Jordan sneakers, which debuted in 1984 and enjoy widespread popularity to date. As per his agent David Falk, in "The Last Dance," "By the end of year four, Nike hoped to make $3 million in sales. But by the end of year one, they'd made $126 million."

As of 2020, Nike had paid Jordan an estimated $1.3 billion since 1984, according to Forbes. Jordan has also appeared in films such as Warner Bros' 1996 live-action animated "Space Jam" and Spike Lee's "He Got Game”. Jordan is the central focus of the Emmy Award-winning documentary miniseries The Last Dance (2020). After the murder of George Floyd, Jordan, alongside Nike's Jordan brand, pledged $100 million over 10 years to organizations dedicated to promoting social justice.

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