The Nike MAGs first caught the eyes of sneakerheads everywhere when they were seen on Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, in the 1989 film Back to the Future II. Fox, world renowned actor and author, made his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis public in 2000, and at just 38 years of age, launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation with the goal of finding a cure to Parkinson’s.
In September 2011, Nike donated 1,500 pairs of the mythical Nike MAGs to be auctioned on eBay, where all the net proceeds went directly to the foundation. The auction ended up bringing in US$4.7 million directly for the foundation.
This extremely rare pair of Michael J. Fox-signed Nike MAGs were auctioned off in July this year through Sotheby’s “From the Archive” series. HypePlug copped them.
“The project brought together three very passionate audiences: the Parkinson’s community, the sneaker head community, and Back to the Future fans”
Nike MAG | The Origins
Introduced to the world in 1989, the global hit Back to the Future II offered a glimpse into what the future could hold in 2015. The most significant takeaway for many was the famous self lacing Nike MAGS, worn by Marty McFly. These iconic sneakers are some of the most universally coveted and the two releases are amongst the top ten most expensive sneakers on StockX.
After the release of the film and the cameo appearance of these self-lacing, futuristic sneakers, Nike was under great pressure from fans everywhere to replicate and release them to the public. In 2011, these voices were heard and the release was given a date, time, and most importantly, a cause– towards the research conducted by the Michael J Fox Foundation to eliminate Parkinson’s Disease. Michael J Fox, the actor who gave us Marty McFly, was diagnosed in 1991 with the degenerative disorder and has since dedicated his life towards eradicating the disease.
Nike MAG 2011 | The Release
The efforts to recreate and release the shoes that shocked the world back in 1989 was a joint effort led by Mark Parker, Nike’s CEO at the time, and Frank Marshall, executive producer of the film.
“The enthusiasm this project ignited, and the funds and awareness the shoes generated for Parkinson’s research, are both humbling and inspiring.”
“Our Foundation is truly grateful to Nike for this unique partnership that brought Back to the Future fans, sneakerheads and the PD community together in the quest to eradicate Parkinson’s from the space-time continuum.”
In September 2011 it was announced that the sneakers would be publicly released– albeit limited. Nike donated 1,500 pairs of the mythical Nike MAG to be auctioned on eBay, with all the net proceeds going directly to the foundation. The auction, though organised predominantly through eBay, was also taken offline– two live auctions were held at the Montalban Theatre in Hollywood, and another one at NikeTown in London.
Both events featured Back to the Future set memorabilia and other collectibles – including two DeLoreans at both locations which came fully equipped with the hoverboard and Doc’s notes.
Among the items at the offline auction were miniature ceramic Nike MAGS signed by Nike’s VP of Innovation, Design, and Special Projects, and limited edition Nike MAGs which came with a plutonium collectors case – a pair was sold in Los Angeles for $37,500 and a pair in London for $12,000. The London pair reportedly sold to the head buyer of Offspring – a sneaker store and group in London.
All donations were matched by Google’s Sergey Brin and then-wife, 23ndMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki, which brought the total sales from US$4.7 million to US$9.4 million.
Michael J Fox Foundation
The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today.