Michael Jordan sneakers sold for a record $2.2 million

At an auction held Tuesday by Sotheby’s, a pair of sneakers worn by Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan in his final NBA finals in 1998 became the most expensive pair of sneakers in history.

 

These are the “most expensive sneakers ever sold”.

 

The auction company Sotheby’s announced that on Tuesday, April 11, a pair of sneakers worn by NBA legend Michael Jordan during his last championship final in 1998 with the Chicago Bulls was sold for a record $2.2 million (equivalent to 2 million euros). Sotheby’s had initially estimated the value of the shoes between 2 and 4 million dollars.

 

At this price, the former Bulls superstar confirms his status as the auction king for collectible sportswear, breaking his own record for sneakers ($1.4 million in 2021). He also holds the record for the most expensive jersey ($10.1 million in September 2022), with the sale of one of those he also wore during his last NBA title win in 1998.

 

Only one bid was submitted for the Bred (Black and Red) Air Jordan XIII sneakers, which were on sale online since April 3 for $1.8 million.

 

Lucky ball boy

 

These sneakers signed by Michael Jordan are emblematic of the last final won by the Chicago franchise against the Utah Jazz in 1998. The basketball star wore them in Game 2 in Salt Lake City, where the Bulls won 93-88 thanks to his 37 points.

 

 

In the hit documentary The Last Dance released in 2020 on Netflix and ESPN, this game was chronicled. At the end of it, Michael Jordan had offered the pair to a lucky ball boy, but he was no longer the owner at the time of the sale. Sotheby’s did not disclose information about the identity of the seller or buyer.

 

Michael Jordan x Nike

 

The sale of these Michael Jordan sneakers coincided with Ben Affleck’s film “Air”, released in the United States on April 5. The film tells the story of the partnership between Nike and Michael Jordan, which began in 1984 when the young basketball player was just out of college. This partnership was made possible thanks to the flair of Sonny Vaccaro, in charge of identifying young prospects to sponsor for Nike, played by Matt Damon in the film.

 

 

On October 26, 1984, Michael Jordan signed a five-year contract with Nike for $2.5 million, three times more than any other National Basketball Association (NBA) contract at the time. Nike launched the Air Jordan sneaker line in April 1985 with the goal of earning $3 million in the first three years.

 

Sports memorabilia

 

Sotheby’s recorded $5.1 billion in sales last year from the Jordan Brand alone.

 

According to Brahm Wachter, who heads the U.S. multinational’s streetwear and modern collectibles department, the player’s success at auction has to do with the fact that “a lot of people, when they think of Michael Jordan playing in the ’80s and ’90s, have a unique nostalgia for that period.”

 

He says selling sports memorabilia is a trend that has accelerated since the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

 

“We have established clients in categories ranging from old master paintings to contemporary art participating”, he adds.

 

In January, a LeBron James jersey worn in 2013 with the Miami Heat sold for $3.7 million, and in February, a Kobe Bryant jersey with the Lakers sold for $5.8 million.

 

 

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Featured photo : ©Press

Grâce à une veille accrue et à une excellente connaissance de ces secteurs, la rédaction de Luxus Magazin décrypte pour ses lecteurs les principaux enjeux économiques et technologiques de la mode, l’horlogerie, la joaillerie, la gastronomie, les parfums et cosmétiques, l’hôtellerie, et l’immobilier de prestige.

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