The controversial Tokyo Olympics are here, and even sneakerheads are getting inspired by the global event.
“We’re seeing high demand for a wide range of Olympic releases, not just the most recent drops,” StockX senior economist Jesse Einhorn told FN.
Leading up to today’s opening ceremony, Einhorn said much, but not all of the demand on “the stock market of things” is for retro Olympic product.
“Perhaps not surprising, products associated with the 1992 Dream Team — most notably the Jordan 7 ‘Olympic’ colorway — are among the most valuable and fastest-appreciating Olympic-themed sneakers,” Einhorn said. “The OG Jordan 7 ‘Olympic’ (1992) recently sold for just under $1,000, which is two times what it was selling for last year. Other Jordan 7 ‘Olympic’ retros have seen their values increase between 30-60%.”
He continued, “A number of the most hyped 2021 releases are just beginning to drop, from Nike’s SB Dunk pack to Nike and Off-White’s Air Zoom Tempo Next%, so we’re excited to see what happens over the next few weeks.”
While the Olympics have generated some demand, Einhorn said it isn’t overwhelming — although it likely will be as the games progress.
“Last week, we saw small upticks in searches for ‘Nike More Uptempo’ and ‘Olympics.’ However, this is still a relatively low base,” Einhorn said. “We expect searches for Olympics-related sneakers to pick up in the coming weeks as some of the most hyped new releases begin to drop.”
Historically, StockX confirmed that the most successful Olympics-related sneaker — in terms of total trades — is the Nike Air More Uptempo “Olympic,” specifically the retro versions from 2016 and 2020. The original model was famously worn by NBA icon Scottie Pippen on Team USA in 1996.
Although Nike has produced several colorways of the shoe, StockX confirmed the “Olympics” iteration has been traded more than 10,000 times, making it the most popular Olympic-themed sneaker in its history.
What’s more, the company stated the shoe saw a surge in trades following last year’s premier of “The Last Dance,” the 10-part docuseries on ESPN highlighting Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ final championship run during the 1997-98 NBA season.
The “Nike Air Max 97 Olympic Rings – Red” is the second most successful on the platform, which released in January 2020, months ahead of when the Tokyo Olympics were originally scheduled to take place.
Rounding out the top five are the Air Jordan 5 Retro “Olympic” from 2016, the Air Jordan 6 Retro “Olympic London” from 2012 and Nike Air Presto “Australia Olympic” from 2020.
In terms of the most expensive sneakers on StockX, the Air Jordan 7 OG “Olympic” from 1992 holds the top spot with an average price of $625. The second most expensive pair is Nike Kobe 7 “USA Olympic” that has an average price of $512, and the rest of the shoes in the top five are the Air Jordan 7 Retro “Olympic” from 2012 ($449), the Air Jordan 7 Retro “Olympic 2012 in grade school sizing ($438) and the Nike Hyperdunk “Olympic – Kobe Bryant” ($425).
Although StockX has plenty of data on Olympics-themed releases at its disposal, this is the first games the platform will be active at the same time as the games — and Einhorn’s expectations for trades are high.
“Our platform launched in 2016, and while some of the 2016 Olympics sneakers still rank among our top-sellers, we expect sales this year to far exceed what we did in 2016. This is really the first summer Olympics where StockX has been a major market power,” Einhorn said. “Major cultural moments can have a direct impact on consumer demand, causing trades to increase and price premiums to rise. We’ve seen this with ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance,’ we’ve seen it with celebrity product endorsements and we expect to see it with the Olympics as well.”