100 pairs of the Air Jordan VIII University of Oregon PE shoe will be up for bid starting Dec. 13 — and Ducks athletes will be able to reap the benefits via NIL.
For well over a decade, the University of Oregon has received some of the most coveted player exclusive sneakers across the NCAA landscape. Each and every year, those shoes – from exclusive runs of green and yellow Air Jordans to limited Nike Training models and signature Basketball silhouettes – haven’t been for sale.
In tandem with the upstart athlete branding agency Division Street, which is helping to provide marketing muscle, design resources, and strategy in a new name, image, and likeness landscape for Oregon student-athletes, the Ducks are teaming up with StockX to auction off 100 pairs of their newest Air Jordan VIII PE.
Beginning at noon EST on Dec. 13, all 100 pairs will be available on StockX in a straightforward bidding format. What makes the auction unique is that the current Ducks football roster is the beneficiary, earning money from the auction sales via NIL.
The auction will run for just 48 hours on Stock’s “DropX” portal of exclusive launches, ending at 11:59 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021.
“This partnership is exciting because it disrupts the traditional athlete-brand relationship and also sets an example for other companies,” said Tom Woodger, StockX VP of Cultural Marketing. “We’re unlocking exclusive access to a product StockX customers want, while also providing college athletes the opportunity to benefit directly from the hard work they put in every day.”
Over the weekend, nearly all of the Oregon Football players posted auction details and images of the shoes on their Instagram pages to announce the launch.
Designed yet again by Tinker Hatfield, a former Oregon student-athlete himself who went on to design the majority of the iconic Air Jordan series, his latest Ducks PE incorporates a mix of white perforated leather, light grey suede, and metallic black and green accents throughout. Along the tongue’s chenille patch, a black Duck is highlighted on both shoes to celebrate the team’s Black student-athletes.
The black Duck was first spotted on the heel of an exclusive Air Huarache in 2015 made for the Oregon Track & Field team, pairing the black Duck on the left heel with a white Duck along the right heel.
For years now, the special edition Ducks sneakers are some of the only Retro Jordan projects that Hatfield works on, often coloring up the PEs with a former Oregon student-athlete on his iPad.
“I don’t usually get involved in retro shoes much, because I feel like I’m supposed to be designing the new performance shoes all of the time,” he said when he first began the annual tradition of creating a Ducks PE for the football team.
Each fall, the football team is largely left in the dark on what model or what colorway the newest PE will be, receiving the shoes towards the end of the season as an encouraging bonus before heading into bowl season.
“I think our tradition of PE Jordans for our athletes is one of the things that makes Oregon different than most schools. It’s a tradition that we are very proud of,” Kenny Farr, Oregon Football’s Equipment Administrator, said after the team received their annual PEs in 2019. “The kicks are an exclusive piece that we want our players to wear with pride beyond their days as athletes for the school.”
Going forward, there appears to be a new formula in place for the beloved Ducks PEs, with the potential auction approach of a limited amount of pairs finally benefitting the players putting in the work on the field.