eBay Takes Next Step in Sneaker Game with 3D Viewing Technology on Air Jordan 1

eBay Takes Next Step in Sneaker Game with 3D Viewing Technology on Air Jordan 1 article feature image

Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images. Pictured: Air Jordan 1

The battle for supremacy in the sneaker resale game has become an arms race and eBay just released its newest weapon.

eBay president and CEO Jamie Iannone announced on the earnings call on Wednesday that the auction site would be trialing a new technology that would allow select sneakers that are for sale to be viewed using 3D imaging. 

It's yet another salvo from eBay, whose executives clearly aren't complacent, as sneaker resale sites like StockX and GOAT have turned into massive businesses. This year, StockX and GOAT have raised money that have valued them at $3.8 billion and $3.6 billion, respectively. Iannone said on the call that eBay's sneaker business has a "healthy" double-digit growth rate.

To get attention for this program, eBay is showing the technology using one of the most important sneakers in the industry: The Air Jordan 1 player sample prototype. These unworn shoes were made for Michael Jordan during his rookie season. The material is different from the Air Jordans that were released to the public in March 1985.

The auction listing, which is live on eBay's site, allows the prospective buyer to look at the shoes from every angle on command and to see the entire surface of the shoes.

In October of last year, eBay launched its Authenticity Guarantee program, which, for the first time made the brand a competitor with the high-end sneaker websites. High-end sneakers bought through the site would be authenticated, tagged and coded before ending up on the auction winner's feet.

As for the sneaker being showcased, it is estimated that Nike made roughly 300 pairs of the Air Jordan 1s for Michael Jordan's personal use in games and practice. Because the shoes were made with more superior leather than what the public bought, they have remained in much better condition. 

The pair being sold is autographed by Jordan, with an Upper Deck Authenticated certification.

“I acquired two pairs from a longtime Nike executive," Ryan said. "If I only had one, they would never be made available. My motivation also has a lot to do with eBay and all they have done for the sneaker, trading card, and memorabilia collecting community.”

The asking price is $250,000, which doesn't seem steep given that a pair of game-used Nike Air Ships, the shoes Jordan wore before his Air Jordans, sold for $1.4 million at Sothebys earlier this week.

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