“The Last Dance” documentary focusing on Michael Jordan and his final championship run with the Chicago Bulls during the 1997-98 season has left fans feeling nostalgic and it’s showing in the sports memorabilia industry.
Recent developments in the industry proved that. According to MarketWatch, average one-day sales for Bulls-related items spiked over 5,100 percent since the film’s debut in April.
Sotheby launched an auction of Jordan’s game-worn, autographed Nike Air Jordan 1s from 1985 which were worn during the early parts of the NBA career. The shoes were an offer from Jordan Geller’s collection. Geller founded the world’s first sneaker museum.
“These are the most iconic and coveted sneakers of all time,” Geller said in a news release. “Sneaker fanatics and collectors from all over the world came to the ShoeZeum to admire them and the were the crown jewel of the museum. Owning this pair has been a real pleasure, and with all the excitement surrounding Michael Jordan and ‘The Last Dance,’ my wife and I decided that it’s time to let the shoes find a new home. We are thrilled to be offering the Air Jordan1s at Sotheby’s which since last year’s landmark sale of the Nike Waffle Shoes, is leading the field in presenting sneakers as a serious collecting category.”
The sneakers are estimated to fetch about $150,000. The auction ends May 17.
Jordan’s 1986-87 Fleer rookie basketball card is one of the most popular over the past 40 years — and one that was autographed by Jordan just set a record of $125,000 in an eBay sale. The card, which was graded 8.5 out of 10 by Beckett Grading Services, was a part of a 2006-07 Fleer buyback. The autograph, on the other hand, was graded a 10 by Beckett
According to Sports Collectors Daily, since the documentary began on April 19, Jordan cards have jumped 285 percent over the same period in March. Over the past decade, more than 17.2 million Jordan items have been sold on eBay, per the website. An average of 146 pieces of Jordan merchandise has been sold on the marketplace site per hour, the website stated.
Data analysts at eBay said the company sold more than 360 Jordan rookie cards in April. That is a 150 percent spike from the previous month, the website reported.
Brandon Steiner, the founder of Steiner Sports Memorabilia and the head of CollectibleXchange, told MarketWatch on Friday that Jordan is still No. 1 in terms of fan and collector interest in memorabilia.
“Let’s be clear here, Michael Jordan, we all should be giving him a check,” Steiner said. “He lifted sport licensing onto a legitimate level. It was practically nothing before he got into the game.”
Steiner said Jordan helped the industry explode and it piqued fans from all genders, races, creeds and regions.
“It was national,” he said. “Female-male, black-white, everybody wanted that s—t.”
The final episodes of “The Last Dance” air Sunday on ESPN.
Fox News’ Dan Canova contributed to this report.