November 10, 2010 BY Aaron Kr.
Athletic performance footwear has been in demand for over a century but only over the last ten years has the sneaker sub-culture ballooned into a world-wide cultural marvel. Nike has grown to an empire based on its performance engineering but Citi-group estimates that 80% of their footwear sales are driven by fashion and current trends, and maintains that Nike’s stranglehold on the sneaker sub-culture is solely based on consumer hype. That may explain why Nike’s stock has risen incredibly high compared to the S&P, but it is still below that of a sneaker collection of Yu-Ming Wu, founder of SneakerNews, who spent $80,000 on sneakers over the last eight years on a collection with a current market value of over a quarter of a million dollars.
With the help of Yu-Ming, CNBC embarked upon an explorative journey into alternative investing and directed its attention towards the world of sneakers as a potential cash cow, hitting all the landmarks of the sneaker-mecca that is New York City, like Flight Club’s new location on Broadway and Sneaker Con, to take a peek at what really lies beneath the hobby of collecting sneakers. What they might have discovered is that the sneaker sub-culture is now a mainstream, and with that, the profitability of collecting sneakers will grow in unison with that trend. One shoe of focus was the Air Jordan IV ‘Undefeated’, which was a shoe not even intended for sale and destined for Friends and Family, but has a current market value of a few thousand dollars and will potentially grow each passing year. Continue reading for a the full CNBC video and let us know what shoe in your collection has gained the most ‘value’ over the years.