Sotheby’s has set a new sneaker auction record with the Nike Air Jordan 1 sneakers sold off earlier this month.
The sneakers Jordan played in in 1985 sold for $560,000 in the online auction, exceeding the previous record held by the Nike Waffle Racing Flat “Moon Shoe” from 1972 by more than $100,000.
The auction house teamed with collector and consignor Jordan Geller, who founded sneaker museum Shoezeum, on the online auction. Geller reached out to Sotheby’s to auction the shoes after the popularity of the ESPN and Netflix documentary “The Last Dance.” The sale coincided with the last episode of the documentary that airs on May 17.
The Peter Moore-designed mid-length sneakers were produced and worn during 1985 and signed by Jordan in permanent marker. Bidders ranged in age from 19 to over 50 from four continents, and 70 percent of the bidders were new to Sotheby’s. The value reached $300,000 within the final 20 minutes of the start of the sale and eventually sold at more than 3.5 times its $150,000 estimate.
“We are extremely excited about today’s record-breaking result,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s director of e-commerce development. “Building off the momentum from our debut sneaker sale last year, which previously set the record for a pair of sneakers with the Nike Moon Shoe, we wanted to set the bar even higher for our second sneaker sale. We saw tremendous bidding up until the moment the sale closed, with the value more than doubling in the final hour alone. That coupled with strong international bidding from six countries on four continents shows not only the incredible appeal of Michael Jordan as one of the most recognizable and legendary athletes of all time, but also that sneaker collecting is truly a global and growing market.”
Jordan signed with Nike and received a signature sneaker, the Air Jordan. Nike expected to sell $3 million worth of Air Jordan sneakers in four years and actually sold $126 million in the first year alone.
Related: WWD Report Card: Like Mike