Rare Sneakers Drive Sotheby's Sales

    • Sneakers have brought in 55% of Sotheby’s new clients.
    • Michael Jordan’s rookie sneakers opened to advanced bidding on Friday.

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The sports collectibles market continues to see record sales this year, and for Sotheby’s, sneakers are the fastest-growing category, bringing in 55% of new clients.

Sotheby’s opened Michael Jordan’s rookie sneakers to advanced bidding on Friday before the live auction on Oct. 24, adding to the $5 million the auction house expects to make from sneakers this year.

Estimated to sell for $1 million to $1.5 million, Jordan’s white Nike Air Ships are set to become the most expensive pair of sneakers ever sold at auction, beating the current record of $615,000 for a pair of game-worn Jordan 1s from 1985, auctioned by Christie’s in 2020.

MJ’s sneakers aren’t the only collectibles to make headlines this year.

  • Last week, an autographed “Shoeless” Joe Jackson photo from 1911 sold for $1.47 million at Christie’s, the most ever paid for a signed sports photograph. 
  • In August, a Honus Wagner baseball card sold for a record-breaking $6.6 million.
  • A prototype of Kanye West’s first Nike Air Yeezy sold for $1.8 million in a private sale at Sotheby’s in April.

Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips totaled $5.8 billion in sales over the first half of the year.