Michael Jordan is the most easily recognizable retired NBA star in the world. He is a living legend whose blazing career on the court overflowed to the basketball sneaker industry.
Michael Jordan is the legend behind Air Jordans, the most popular and expensive basketball sneakers in the history of the game.
Some of the sneakers have sold for as much as $104,000. But what makes Jordans so expensive?
Jordan sneakers are so expensive because not only are they made with high-quality materials, but are in high demand and are from a proud line of sneakers made exclusively for the legendary NBA star, Micahel Jordan.
How did these iconic sneakers come to be and are they worth the hefty price tag? Read on as we delve into the colorful world of Nike’s top sneakers.
About Jordan Brand Sneakers
Air Jordans were created in 1984 when Jordan’s agent, David Falk, initiated a meeting between the NBA star and Nike.
At the time, Jordan’s favorite shoe brand was Adidas and Michael was reluctant to work with Nike. However, Adidas said they could not create a shoe for the athlete.
On the other hand, Nike was enthusiastic and incorporated their new technology for running shoes, which they called air soles to create the first Air Jordans.
Initially, NBA banned the shoe. The game’s rules at the time stated that sneakers must be white with some colors of the team’s jersey.
They fined Michael Jordan $5,000 for every single game he wore the Air Jordans 1 to. Nike paid the fine, capitalizing on the publicity and notoriety.
The gamble paid off. Nike had hoped to sell $3 million worth of Air Jordans at the end of the four-year deal. In the first year alone, they sold Air Jordans worth $126 million.
Most Expensive Jordans
The Air Jordan 12 (Flu Game) shoes are arguably the most expensive release in the history of the Jordans.
Michael wore the shoe against the Utah Jazz in 1997 and then gifted it to former Utah Jazz ballboy Preston Truman. It sold at auction for $104,000.
Another expensive Jordan is the iconic red, black, and white game-worn and autographed Air Jordan 1s. Worn by a rookie Michael in the 1985 season, these sneakers sold for $560,000 at Sotheby’s Auction.
Air Jordan 12 OVO is another collection from Nike’s Jordan line that has been selling at hefty rates. Currently, there is a pair on eBay going for a whopping $7,200.
This line was a corroboration with rapper Drake, a fan of the Toronto Raptors. The average price for the 12 OVO Air Jordans is $100,000.
Why are Jordans So Expensive Right Now?
Here are some of the reasons why Jordans are so expensive;
1. High Quality
Jordans are made with high-quality materials that are durable and last for years. The sneakers are made to withstand hard use.
Initially made for the basketball court, they are engineered to be comfortable, offer sole support, and last longer under strenuous conditions.
2. Brand Name
Air Jordan is a famous brand name that most people want to be associated with. It has been referred to as a statement shoe. When you buy Jordans, you also pay for the brand value.
Nike also partners with other luxury brands such as Dior to produce limited-edition sneakers. And what’s more exclusive than a merger of two top-of-the-line luxury brands to make a statement?
3. Celebrity Endorsement
Fans want to associate with their favorite celebrities and
Michael Jordan is a legendary basketball star who is famous all over the world. Additionally, the line was specifically created for him and this association is something that fans are willing to pay for.
Considering that this fan base is easily millions of people, the sneakers have a high demand.
Air Jordans are still in demand decades after the first product line was released. The brand never quite matches supply needs, leaving fans coming back for the next release hoping to get a pair.
This cycle of high demand and low supply keeps prices high. By limiting supply, Nike ensures that the market is not flooded with Jordans.
This makes the sneakers exclusive and even more desirable. People are willing to pay high prices to belong to the privileged few who own a certain Jordan brand.
5. Resale Value
Nike as a brand is known to have some of the highest resale value in the shoe business. Air Jordans 1 have a reported average resale value of up to 1,816%.
The Last Dance, a docuseries on the Chicago Bulls and NBA star Michael Jordan, raised the resale value of original Air Jordan colorways and models.
One example is the Air Dior, a Nike and Dior collaboration to reproduce MJ’s first-ever sneaker. The retail price was around $2,000 while the resale value was $9,000 to $38,000.
Why Is Jordan 1 So Popular?
Jordans have a rich and exciting history as the Michael Jordan shoe. Each shoe produced during the star’s active career in the NBA has a rich history of wins, losses, nostalgic experiences, and memories made.
The Jordan sneakers were a big part of young people in the 80s and 90s. The parent company, Nike, has done an amazing job of keeping the shoes alive.
From celebrity endorsements such as Drake’s latest OVO collaboration, the sneaker has managed to stay on top of the news feed.
Why are Jordans So Scarce?
Jordans are not produced in enough numbers to satisfy the demand. By creating scarcity, the brand attracts customers with emotional pull marketing, and limited production of certain releases to keep prices and interest in the shoes high.
Moreover, sneakerheads hoard Jordans through ‘back dooring’ by buying the shoes in bulk before the general public can even get their hand on a pair.
They then wait for the shoes to sell out on official sites, hike their prices, and re-sell. This is especially common with any release that is either limited or extremely popular.