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The Palazzo Broadcast Studio At Lagasse's Stadium Grand Opening

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Former NFL safety Gerome Sapp has a new career he’s invested in – tech. Combining his love for sneakers and technology, the Houstonian recently launched RARES, a sneaker app which combines the buying and selling of shares such as the stock market with some rare “holy grail” kind of kicks.

Sapp’s latest investment in the sneaker world set headlines ablaze when it was revealed he and RARES were the company behind the mammoth $1.8 million sale of Kanye West’s 2008 Grammy-worn Air Yeezy 1 Prototype sneakers. Sapp and his company purchased the sneakers from an auction in New York and in the process, broke a record for the biggest individual sale of a pair of sneakers in auction history. The previous best belonged to an autographed pair of Air Jordan 1s by Michael Jordan himself which sold for over $560,000.

“The Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototype not only means a lot to the sneaker culture, but it meant a lot to me personally,” Sapp told The Shade Room. “I retired from the NFL in 2008 and was wondering what was next with my life. When I saw Kanye and Nike unveil these sneakers at the 2008 Grammys, aside from being dope, they represented a new age of independence, a beginning of something bigger to come. That is exactly what RARES represents to my team and I now. So when the opportunity was presented to acquire this all-time favorite grail, I hopped on it. I felt that this 1 of 1 grail didn’t belong in a museum or a museum environment, it needed to be securitized and split into affordable shares so that anyone who loved these sneakers and the culture around what made these sneakers hot, could invest in them. One equity share at a time.”

Sapp was drafted in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. He played four years in the league before retiring in 2008.

West debuted the prototype during the 2008 Grammys telecast months after the death of his mother Donda. The shoe would eventually hit retailers in 2009 and kicked off a 12-year odyssey of Yeezy having some of the more sought-after pairs of shoes with collectors, hypebeasts and more.

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Houston-Born Former NFL Safety Revealed As Kanye West’s $1.8M Yeezy Sneaker Buyer  was originally published on theboxhouston.com