Sotheby’s is looking to cash in on two pandemic trends: online buying and nostalgia for Michael Jordan.
The company is offering a game-worn pair of Nike sneakers from Jordan’s glory days in a stand-alone online auction. The autographed shoes are estimated to fetch as much as $150,000. Bidding started noon Friday in New York and will continue through May 17, Sotheby’s said in a statement.
The legendary athlete is hotter than ever following the recent release of The Last Dance, an ESPN documentary series. The 10-part chronicle focuses on Jordan’s career and how the Chicago Bulls chased their sixth NBA championship during the 1997-98 season. Each week, about 6 million viewers tune in to see the show, which offers plenty of footage of the star athlete in his prime.
Sneakers have become increasingly valuable over the past decade driven by “sneakerheads,” collectors who spend hundreds, thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars a pair. StockX, an online marketplace for sneakers, has pages of Air Jordans, some of which are offered for more than $20,000.
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🏀 👟 Game-worn and autographed by the legendary Michael Jordan, these Nike Air Jordan 1s from 1985 are now available for bidding in our special online sale: ‘The One | MJ’s Air Jordan 1s’. One of the most important basketball sneakers of all time, these sneakers were made exclusively by Nike for the NBA Chicago Bulls player, representing the first ever signature sneaker and paving the way for other star players like #ScottiePippen, #PennyHardaway, #CharlesBarkley, #KobeBryant, #LeBronJames and more to have their own signature shoes. Featuring the Chicago Bulls white, black and red colorway, the pair was worn by #Jordan during a pivotal early period of his career. Open for bidding through 17 May, head to our link in bio to learn more. #SothebysAirJordans #MichaelJordan #JUMPMAN #NBA
Sotheby’s holds a record for sneakers at auction with $437,500 paid for Nike’s “Moon Shoe” last year.
The company has been selling art online since the coronavirus pandemic forced auction houses to close. In March and April, Sotheby’s had 32 online sales, generating $60.4 million. A Cartier bracelet fetched $1.3 million last month.
Sotheby’s postponed its live May evening auctions of Impressionist, modern and contemporary art until the end of June. This month, it’s offering lower-value works from these categories online and expects to raise $20 million. Items for sale include an abstract painting by Christopher Wool, estimated at $1.2 million to $1.8 million, and a still life by Giorgio Morandi, estimated at $1 million to $1.5 million.
The “Air Jordan 1s” were custom-made for the Hall of Famer in sizes 13 and 13 1/2, in the Chicago Bulls white, black and red.
The shoes are on offer from the collection of Jordan Geller, a collector and founder of the Shoezeum, the world’s first sneaker museum, Sotheby’s said.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)