A pair of Michael Jordan’s shoes have become the most valuable sneakers ever sold at auction. The Nike Air Jordan 13 sold for a record $2.2 million on April 11, 2023.
Jordan wore them during the 1998 NBA Finals, known as “The Last Dance”, as it was his final year with the Chicago Bulls.
Auction house, Sotheby’s, said Jordan had autographed the shoes and given them to a ball-boy after the game. However, did not confirm whether the ball boy went on to sell the shoes or who was the actual buyer.
Chief editor and casino expert John Isaac at online-gambling.com shares expert insight into buying and selling in the sports memorabilia market.
“Sports are a huge part of the American culture. Therefore, it isn’t a surprise that so is the core sports memorabilia market, estimated at $12.2 billion in 2021 and growing at a rate of 15.6% from 2022 to 2032.
“With such an enormous passion for sporting teams or individuals, many people will solidify that by collecting pieces of memorabilia.
“However, people don’t always collect for keepsakes and there are ways to tap into the sports memorabilia market to make profits.
“Before considering purchasing memorabilia, you must consider several aspects in order to appraise items. An athlete or team tied to the piece, the edition number of the item
and most importantly the significance of the memorabilia in history of the game or sport are all aspects that can impact the item’s value.
“Memorabilia associated with a renowned sports star is generally worth significantly more than memorabilia associated with a lesser-known player.
“The rarer the piece, the type of object and where it has appeared will also influence its value.
“In Michael Jordan’s case, being one of the greatest basketball stars and wearing the sneakers during the 1998 NBA finals automatically puts a higher price tag on the item.”
Below, John Issac shares five top tips for investing in sports memorabilia:
- Opt for classics
Classics never go out of style, and whilst people may be reluctant to go for an item with an extremely well-known name attached to it, it will always be valuable and most likely become even more valuable over time. Even better to go for something associated with a sports legend who has retired.
- Always do your research
Sports memorabilia doesn’t always come cheap, therefore, it is important to do your research around the authenticity of an item to make sure that the money is spent on a wise deal.
It is also good to check which sportsmen or women have established themselves in their sport and are perhaps rumored to retire soon.
- Ensure items are genuine
There are always items floating around the market with fake autographs, therefore it is important to check if an autograph is genuine.
A Certificate of Authenticity (COA) will indicate if the autograph is legit.
However, that doesn’t apply to the legitimacy of the item. This is why going to the most respected authenticity organizations such as PSA/DNA, Upper Deck, Beckett and JSA, will confirm that certification.
- Search for rare items
Searching for something so rare will of course give the item a lot more value. Whilst this may be a more difficult approach, it can be extremely rewarding.
- Look for immaculate items
Buying items that are pristine or ‘museum quality’ will increase the value of your item.
This is because often the value of mint condition items (meaning it has no scratches, scuffs, rips etc) goes up, then so does the quality of your sports memorabilia.