Michael Jordan was the first NBA player to really have a bestselling sneaker line, which is why his early shoes are in extremely high demand.
The 21-year-old decided to forgo the final year of his education at UNC and declared for the 1984 NBA Draft. He was subsequently met with by executives from various shoe companies.
The consensus opinion at the time was the Michael Jordan would doubtless carve himself a name as a star. But it was obviously unclear how far he really would go in terms of fame and fortune.
Nike made a humongous bet by dedicating their entire basketball shoe marketing campaigns around the Bulls’ youngster. They offered Jordan $5 million through a 5-year contract, adding in a 25% royalty on every Air Jordan sold.
This bet, orchestrated for Nike and Phil Knight for Sonny Vaccaro, has proven to be one of the biggest payoffs ever. Michael achieved success and popularity at a scale that was hitherto unseen and still continues to be untouched.
His Air Jordan 1 sneakers have carved a niche for themselves as the most iconic pieces of streetwear ever. And one of his gameworn pieces from that shoe is now going under the hammer.
Michael Jordan game-worn Air Jordan 1 shoes from rookie season vs Denver Nuggets to be auctioned
Game-worn originals for early shoe editions have always had higher valuations amidst collectors. It’s no secret that everyone wants a piece of His Airness – the more authentic, the better.
And in this case, it’s a game-worn shoe from his rookie season which he gave to a ball boy. The Chicago Bulls played the Denver Nuggets in the Mile High City in the 5th game of his rookie year. This was when the aforementioned ball boy got lucky unassumingly.
The most expensive sneaker sold at an auction ever belonged to hip-hop producer Kanye West. That particular piece fetched a steep price of $1.8 million. It is expected that these Air Jordans will also fetch a sum north of the 6-zero mark.