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Back For The Future
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Back For The Future

  • 4 min read
  • By Route One

Last week Nike pulled off possibly the greatest marketing exercise I've witnessed for years - The Nike Air Mag.The Nike Mag is the shoe that has achieved "Holy Grail" status amongst the sneaker community, especially with those of us who are at an age to remember their first outing onscreen...In 1989 Back To The Future II saw Marty McFly travel through time to the year 2015 where he donned a futuristic looking hi-top Nike sneaker called the Mag (considering they were "Hoverboard" shoes were these the Nike SB's of the future!?!)

To have designed a futuristic shoe that still looks ahead of it's time over 22 years later is no mean feat but most people expected the Mag destined to be nothing more than a movie prop.

Little did we all know that Nike head-design supremo Tinker Hatfield has been busy in the lab making movies a reality.

Tuesday and Wednesday saw various viral teasers popping up online and a few select guests invited to Hollywood for the unveiling of a secret Nike project.

The online community started buzzing worldwide - could it really be "The Shoes" no one ever thought would see the light of day.
A Doc Brown trademark Delorean (and hoverboard!) was delivered outside NSW 21 Mercer in Soho NYC as Tinker himself took the stage in Los Angeles for the official news - 1,500 pairs of the Nike Mag had been produced and would be availble on 10 one day charity auctions on eBay for 10 consecutive days.

Less than 24 hours after the announcement 150 pairs went up for sale with bids of thousands of dollars on each.

Fair play to our own Tinie Tempah who won the live LA auction at a hefty $37,500 donation for charity - Go Tinie!

That evening Michael J. Fox himself popped up on the David Letterman show to talk about the project.

He spoke about the combination of three different populations - Sneakerheads, Back To The Future fanatics, and philanthropists in the Parkinson's community who are all interested in these shoes.

The icing on the cake had to be Google's commitment to match every single dollar from the auctions up to $50 million. This means a potential $100 million could be raised to help fight Parkinson's Disease.

The fact that Nike managed to keep every aspect of this project so water-tight in an age of blogging/forums/inside rumours/etc is outstanding and the potential amount of revenue that can be raised for such a great cause is a true testiment to the brand's power and knowledge of their customers.

Tinker Hatfield suggested that the infamous self-lacing version will be available in 2015 (the date McFly travelled to in the movie) so it looks like the Nike Mag story will indeed continue into the future.

The Nike Mag 2011 release has proven to be Nike's most successful charitable cause ever and will stand as a milestone event in Nike's lifelong history.

For more information on Michael J. Fox's charity, visit .

Unfortunately you can't bid on a pair of the Nike Mags unless you're a USA resident but feel free to go to and watch the action unfold.

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