Sotheby’s is gearing up for its largest sports memorabilia auction to date, offering coveted items from the sports world’s biggest athletes.
The auction house will be hosting its “Sports Memorabilia: Part II” two-part curated auction June 20 to 28, with a public exhibition scheduled for June 24 to 28. The collection offers roughly 50 items from athletes such as Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Muhammad Ali, Derek Jeter, Rafael Nadal and others. The entire collection is estimated to sell from $960,000 to $1.6 million.
The first part of Sotheby’s sports memorabilia auction kicked off last month with Jordan’s 1992 Summer Olympics Reebok Jacket, which is up for auction through June 28 and is expected to sell from $1 million to $3 million.
“Things from Michael Jordan’s 1992 ‘Dream Team’ Olympic run are super coveted,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectibles. “We saw a competitive auction house to us recently auction a Michael Jordan jersey from the semi-finals that went for $3 million, so to have two of these items at Sotheby’s, we’re super excited about it.”
In addition to Jordan’s Reebok jacket, Sotheby’s upcoming auction will also offer Jordan’s worn and signed 1992 Olympic “Dream Team” Air Jordan VII sneakers, which are estimated to sell for $100,000 to $300,000.
Other standout items include James’ 2004 Cleveland Cavaliers Rookie Year game-worn Nike sneakers, which are estimated to sell for $150,000 to $200,000, and Ali’s 1972 fight-worn Everlast trunks, which are estimated to sell for $70,000 to $90,000.
Ali’s trunks, which the boxer wore during the 1972 NABF Heavyweight Title match against George Chuvalo, is Sotheby’s first fight-worn item from Ali.
Wachter explained that one of the biggest trends he’s seeing among Sotheby’s sports memorabilia clients is that there is growing interest for items from pivotal sports moments, such as from Jordan’s 1992 Summer Olympics.
“What we’ve noticed is that even if you have an athlete with a normal jersey, it would be worth like $5,000, but if that particular athlete did one thing in their career that was super memorable, you can see those things skyrocket in value,” he said.
Wachter also noted that sports memorabilia has been a growth market for Sotheby’s in recent years.
“It’s a market of people who are super passionate about what they collect,” he said. “We have clients who are unbelievable sports fanatics. In many ways, this market has existed for an incredibly long time and we’re sort of taking note and saying that this is a market we want to be involved in and we think it’s growing exponentially. The values are growing and the number of people who are in it are also growing.”