Washington: They’re not the Air Obamas, but one sneakerhead with a lot of cash will have an opportunity this week to purchase an exclusive pair of basketball kicks made in honour of the 44th American President Barack Obama. A pair of sneakers originally designed by Nike for the former is going on sale for $25,000 (Rs 18,21,575).
Nike Hyperdunk basketball shoes were designed to honour Obama’s love for the sport in 2009. While one pair is owned by Obama, another pair, according to Sotheby’s, has been listed for sale and is considered “one of only two pairs in existence,” The Indian Express reported.
The Hyperdunks also resembles the “United We Rise” collection of USA Olympic sneakers worn by Team USA at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, according to Sotheby’s. Nike partnered with late NBA star Kobe Bryant to launch the shoe in April 2008, and the auction house says the shoes have a production date coding of “20091022” for October 22, 2009.
Sotheby’s wouldn’t reveal on Tuesday who provided the shoes to the auction house, but when asked how the pair were authenticated, Brahm Wachter, the director of eCommerce development for Sotheby’s, said the company is confident they were produced by Nike.
“(This) particular pair – while not worn by Mr Obama – was Nike’s only confirmation sample and have been kept in incredible condition over the last 12 years,” the auction house stated, as quoted by ‘Independent’. The sneakers feature the number “44” on each toe and “1776” on the insoles, along with the official Presidential Seal, modelled after the “United We Rise” Hyperdunks that Team USA wore for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
The sneakers also include white leather uppers, blue swooshes, which are outlined in silver, and visible Flywire technology. The auction house will officially open the sale of the shoes on February 12, the report added. NBA star Steph Curry, who has partnered with Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, which aims to mentor boys and young men of color, sported his custom Curry 4 sneaks bearing the Obama “o” logo during a Golden State Warriors game in 2018. They were later auctioned off.