Rares Is ‘Investing In Culture’ And Giving Access To Sneaker Share IPOs On Its New Trading Platform
Rares is a platform that enables users to easily invest in sneaker culture as you do on ETF and stock trading platforms. Buying and trading shares of rare shoes will make it easier for users to invest in their future through these sneakers, assets that are inherent to popular culture. The Rares one-of-a-kind innovation in the sneaker reselling market allows users to invest in shares of ‘rare’ sneakers.
The merger of financial tech, sneaker culture, and social media has allowed the Rares platform to make “investing in culture” accessible to a broader audience. Users would own the rarest shoes at fractional ownership, sharing the wealth within the larger sneaker community.
Shareholders can’t wear the sneakers they own shares of, but users can benefit from gaining financial literacy by entering in on sneaker resale Initial Public Offerings. IPOs allow for ‘first-dibs’ on shares of an asset – a rare and historic pair of sneakers – at a fractional price relative to the sneaker’s price volatility.
Former NFL safety, Gerome Sapp, founder of the Rares sneaker share trading platform, was the buyer behind the purchase of Kanye West’s 2008 Grammy-worn Air Yeezy 1 Prototype sneakers by Rares, at a whopping $1.8 million. The Yeezy sneaker acquisition broke a record, setting up the largest individual sale of a pair of sneakers in auction history.
Sapp has had a genuine love for sneakers tied to momentous times in his life since an early age. “My love for sneakers came about when I was nine years old. My father went away to prison, and he went away for a long time. He got me my first pair of Air Jordan 4s, and from that moment on, I’ve been hooked on the sneaker game,” he recalls. Sapp’s passion for sneakers reflects his desires for Rares as a brand. He states that “this is not hype to me, this is real to me, very intrinsic. It’s an intimate thing – the sneaker game – to me.”
Sapp studied finance at the University of Notre Dame and then Harvard University, learning about alternative assets through his curriculum, growing an organic cognitive connection to the beloved sneaker assets he wore on his feet. Sneakers were always of his interest, and after he would retire from the NFL his focus would shift to entrepreneurship and tech. Sapp would mull over ideas for a sneaker business since his studies at university, and continued post his NFL career.
Rares is that new pair of sneakers for Sapp and is appreciating value. As difficult as it can be, acquiring rare and vintage pairs of sneakers will keep that appreciation for Rares. “My background as an ex-professional athlete, playing in the NFL, and just being in the sneaker culture – I have a lot of contacts in the sneaker culture that get certain types of sneakers that no one else can get. Whether it’s rare vintage stuff that Nike isn’t making anymore, Converse isn’t making anymore, Adidas isn’t making anymore, or if it’s new hype [sneakers], we look for sneakers that will appreciate so that when we put it on our platform and allow people to invest in it, the chance of making money is exponential.”
Sapp has already said of the Yeezy Prototype 1 IPO on the Rares platform that “72,000 shares and so we’ll offer each share at $25,” describing how shares are deciphered and distributed to an online tech news outlet. Hypothetically, the user will own a piece of the “most expensive sneaker in history for $25 a share.”
Sapp knows the objective is crucial and he focuses on the bottom line to ensure users can have a greater chance to profit from sneakers without ever owning the physical pairs. He says, “the number one thing we want to do is make our investors money. When we go out and look for sneakers, [we find] sneakers that we feel will have a major chance of appreciation, allowing our investor to invest in that appreciation.”
“People in the sneaker game have realized that I’m not here to take advantage of the game,” Sapp reveals. “I’m here to create a new opportunity for culture and community – that I came from – to leverage the sneaker industry in a new creative way. When I launched Rares, I made it a point to launch with culture. Our mission is to allow culture and communities to invest in cultural assets that have somehow transcended beyond sneakers, to now being appreciating alternative assets.”
Sapp has received access to the different tiers of the sneaker world. He has granted access to thousands of users from communities like his home of Houston, Texas, in the fifth ward. The Rares founder aims to regentrify the underserved communities of sneaker enthusiasts and sneaker culture alike.
Sapp is also grateful for his access, “a lot of the old school sneakerheads, and the sneaker plugs and explained what my mission is, and what I wanted to do to help the community, and they opened a lot of doors for me. They opened a lot of doors for a lot of people who wouldn’t have access. We deal with 3-5 authentic dealers of vintage – that’s the quality of sneakers we have.”
Each shoe becomes available through the IPO with shares like stock from a publicly-traded company. The Rares IPO would then close its offerings, whereas you can hold your shares until the shoe is sold at auction. Alternatively, you can sell your shares at any point between that, receiving your dividend payout.
Rares have shoes available right now besides the Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototype; the Nike Air Jordan 1 Chicago Bulls, the 1985 OG ‘Breds, 2010 Air Force 1 HOV, to name a few. Sapp and Rares hope to reshape the culture of sneakers and allow neglected sneaker culture purveyors potential participation and financial ownership of sneaker history.