By bringing fictional footwear to life, Nike is attracting cash for PD research. In 2011, Nike made a sneaker with the same look as the fictional, self-lacing pair it created for Marty McFly, Michael J. Fox’s character in Back to the Future. Even without the mechanism that would make them lace themselves, the sneakers attracted fans who spent $4.7 million on 1,500 pairs during a 10 day eBay auction to benefit The Michael J. Fox Foundation. The news made philanthropic history, marking it as eBay’s largest charity auction ever at that time. Because the auction was positioned to leverage the Foundation’s Brin Wojcicki Challenge, proceeds were doubled, bringing the total funds generated to $9.4 million. The $50 million Brin Wojcicki Challenge ran throughout 2011 and 2012.
Now Fox’s fans and fellow PD advocates are anticipating a second Nike collaboration, which may raise additional dollars for Parkinson’s research in October 2015, Nike leaked word of its 2015 Air Mag, a shoe that is identical to the movie version and laces itself, just like in the film. Auction details can be found on Nike’s website and via Twitter @Nike and @MichaelJFoxOrg.
Orginally printed in MoreThanMotion, April 2016.