The NBA and Gatorade have been linked at the hip since the ’80s, when the beverage brand became the league’s official sports drink — a distinction that stands to this very day. And now a former Gatorade executive is auctioning off the enormous stash of hoops-related footwear and memorabilia he collected over the years.
Former Gatorade vice president of worldwide sports marketing Bill Schmidt has partnered with Steiner Auctions to sell some of his rarest and most noteworthy items.
Included in the bunch are vintage Air Jordan sneakers that were game-worn and signed by Michael Jordan, autographed Chicago Bulls gear and other items bearing the signature of NBA greats such as Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant.
Some of the most notable pairs up for auction include original sample versions of the Air Jordan 11 in its fan-favorite “Concord” and “Black/Red” styles, game-worn and autographed Air Jordan 7s and a cleated version of the Air Jordan 9 from Michael’s brief stint in baseball.
Schmidt’s prominent position at Gatorade in the ’90s allowed him to play a major role in the brand’s “Be Like Mike” campaign, starring Jordan. And because Gatorade was based in Chicago, Schmidt was able to attend countless Bulls games throughout the ’80s and ’90s, allowing him to amass a variety of NBA collectibles.
Bidding for these auctions lasts through July 29 at 1 p.m. ET. To view Schmidt’s entire collection, visit steinersports.com.