Sports

A rare pair of Michael Jordan's sneakers expected to fetch as much $550,000 in auction

Key Points
  • Christie's will auction off 11 lots of Jordan sneaker rarities beginning July 30.
  • The top lot is expected to sell for between $350,000 to $550,000.
  • "The Last Dance" documentary, has created renewed interest in Jordan collectibles. 
Christie's gamechangers sale includes rare Michael Jordan sneakers. The 1984's game worn Air Ship sneakers are expected to fetch between $330,000 - $550,000.
Source: Christie's

Michael Jordan game-worn collectibles continue to reach new heights, nearly two decades after the Chicago Bulls icon hung up his laces for good.

On Thursday, Christie's Auction House and Stadium Goods announced they are partnering on a unique sale offering "the the most comprehensive sneaker record of Michael Jordan's era-defining Chicago Bulls career." 

Jordan sneaker sales have taken off this year. After the airing of the ESPN and Netflix documentary, "The Last Dance," there's been renewed interest in anything and everything related to the basketball icon. As auction houses look to attract a younger audience, they are looking to Jordan to do so. In May, Sotheby's sold a pair of Nike Air Jordan 1s for $560,000 to become the most expensive sneakers ever sold.

"This highly-curated sale marks Christie's entry into a new collecting category that merges sports' history, art, fashion, and contemporary lifestyle following the great success of our Hype sale in December 2019," Aline Sylla-Walbaum, Global managing director of Luxury at Christie's said in a statement.

The highlights of the sale include a pair of 1984 Nike Air Ship high-top sneakers that were worn during Jordan's rookie year. The shoe is expected to fetch between $350,000 to $550,000 and includes his famous mismatched size 13.5 left shoe, and size 13 right. Christie's said the pair was sourced from a New Jersey Nets equipment manager. Jordan only wore the Air Ship in the NBA preseason and early games during his rookie year, making them extremely rare to find. 

A 1984 pair of Nike Air Ship will be sold at Christie's upcoming auction.
Source: Christie's

The 1992 US Olympic basketball team, often referred to as the "Dream Team," is arguably one of the greatest basketball team's in history. Christie's is selling a pair of 1992 Air Jordan 7's that were worn in the 1992 gold medal game against Croatia. Jordan scored 22 points and Team USA won the game in a blowout. Christie's said the sneakers were sourced from a hotel receptionist at the Ambassador Hotel where the Dream Team stayed. They were gifted to her for running errands for the team during their stay in Barcelona. The Size 13 pair of mid-top sneakers is expected to sell for $50,000 to $70,000.

Christie's gamechangers sale includes rare Michael Jordan sneakers.
Source: Christie's

Reaching New Heights

For Jordan fans that can't afford the astronomical prices, sneaker reseller StockX can be a more affordable option. The company, told CNBC's Jim Cramer on Wednesday it has now authenticated 3.5 million pairs of Air Jordan sneakers, 1 million of those in the last 6 months alone.

Since the airing of "The Last Dance," Scott Cutler, CEO of StockX said demand for Jordan products has "gone through the roof."

"People, you know, whether it was nostalgia or excitement of what they saw, they went back to even the original OG Jordan and bought those on the platform," he said.

Even as the negative impact from coronavirus caused Nike's fourth-quarter revenue to plummet 38%, the one bright spot was the Jordan brand.  Nike CEO John Donahoe told analysts the brand is "resonating deeply" after the airing of "The Last Dance." The company said Jordan brand revenues were up 15% for the year to $3.6 billion.

Christie's has only revealed three of the 11 lots that will be available when their sale kicks off. The rest of the items will be available for browsing beginning July 23 and the auction kicks off July 30. It lasts through August 13. 

Proceeds from the auction will be donated to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. 

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StockX CEO: Demand for Jordan sneakers went 'through the roof' due to 'The Last Dance'