Michael Jordan's trademark Air Jordan sneakers from 1985 sold for a record-breaking $560,000. The sale was part of an auction held by Sotheby's in New York City.
The price makes the shoes the most expensive pair of footwear in history. They beat out a pair of Leonardo da Vinci drawings that sold for $500,000 in 2014.
The sale also made Michael Jordan's shoes the top-selling item at the auction with a total weight of 1.4 pounds. The shoes sold to a collector who wanted to remain anonymous.
In 1985, the year the shoes were released, Jordan's rookie season, he led the Chicago Bulls to their first NBA championship in franchise history. The game seven victory over the Boston Celtics was one of the greatest sports moments ever. It is considered one of the biggest events in shoe marketing history because it brought out the best in both Jordan and Nike. The "Flu Game" as it is known in sneaker culture occurred during March Madness, when Jordan scored a record setting number of points in a single game (38). He also hit a record breaking number of free throws in this game too!
Michael Jordan's game-worn sneakers achieved a new high price of $615,000. Michael Jordan's Nikes surpassed the auction record for the most expensive sneakers ever sold, collecting $615,000. The shoes were donated to the National Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
In January 2009, an anonymous seller listed three pairs of shoes that had been worn by Michael Jordan during his career with the Chicago Bulls for sale on eBay. The shoes were authenticated by two experts who confirmed they were indeed from the same series and color scheme as those worn by Jordan. The minimum bid was set at $100,000. The auction ended up raising over $1.6 million, setting a new world record for the highest price paid for a pair of sports artifacts.
Since then, the auction site has continued to raise the bar for celebrity memorabilia auctions with records being set for several different items. In April 2010, an original painting by Vincent van Gogh sold for $82.5 million - the highest price ever paid for a work of art. And in November 2011, a collection of photographs taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt during the 1940s featuring celebrities with their arms raised, giving away their fame for nothing more than a smile went for $150,000 to $200,000 per photo.
Jordan was paid $500,000 per year to wear Nike sneakers for five years. To secure the last two years of the contract, the business had to sell at least $4 million in Air Jordans in Year 3. The first Air Jordan shoes were released in March 1985 for $65 per pair. In April 2006, Nike announced that it had sold over 10 million pairs of Air Jordan shoes since their debut.
Consumers could buy the shoes by March 1985, and they did—within two months, it had sold more than a million pairs. Nike made $100 million from Air Jordan sneakers in their first year. It was an astonishing success that started one of the most popular product lines in history.
Nike's marketing campaign for the shoe targeted black athletes and promoted them as being able to play at a high level while wearing Air Jordans. The company also created a website where fans could send in photos of themselves in the shoes for a chance to be featured on television commercials for the line.
Within its first year, sales of Air Jordan sneakers exceeded $1 billion. They are still one of Nike's most successful products today.
Air Jordan made such a big impact on the basketball world that is has become synonymous with quality and style. Kids across the country wanted to wear like their favorite players and designers knew this so they made copycat shoes to satisfy demand. In addition, many adult collectors purchase these copies because they believe the originals will one day be worth a lot of money.
There have been over 100 different models released since the debut pair in 1985. Each model is named after one of Michael Jordan's former teams: Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, or Indiana Pacers.