Last Updated On: June 10th, 2023
Michael Jordan and Gatorade have had a long-standing endorsement deal that dates back to 1991. That year, Gatorade launched the iconic “Be Like Mike” commercial featuring Jordan and his love for Gatorade. The commercial was a huge success and helped to solidify Gatorade’s status in the ’90’s.
The Gatorade and Jordan relationship has resulted in Gatorade-themed sneakers, apparel, and even multiple sets of Michael Jordan Gatorade cards released in the mid-1980’s and late 1990’s.
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The first of multiple Michael Jordan Gatorade cards was produced as early as 1985, where attendees of the 1985 NBA All-Star weekend received a sealed 9 card “Slam Dunk” set — or 10 cards if you count the leaked card of Charles Barkley — produced by Star Company. If you recall, Star Co. produced the iconic 1984 Star Michael Jordan Rookie and additional Michael Jordan Star cards between 1984 and 1986.
Upper Deck has produced some popular Michael Jordan cards, but it would be over a decade after Star Co. before they would release two additional sets that contained Michael Jordan Gatorade cards exclusively; a 12-card set in 1998, and a six-card set in 1999.
This post will go into further detail about the Star Co. and Upper Deck Michael Jordan Gatorade cards, their respective values in the current market, and how to get your hands on them.
1985 Star Michael Jordan Gatorade Slam Dunk Card #7
The green-bordered Michael Jordan Gatorade card #7 of the 1985 Star Slam Dunk set is always in demand as a rookie-era Jordan card. Jordan took part in the 1985 Slam Dunk contest — along with seven other participants — only to finish in 2nd place, losing to none other than Dominique Wilkins.
The eight total dunk participants and the checklist card #1 make up the complete nine-card set. Again, if you count the Charles Barkley card which was unnumbered and not officially released with the set, it would be 10 total cards, the first being the checklist.
How Much is the 1985 Star Michael Jordan Gatorade Slam Dunk #7 Card Worth?
The value of the Michael Jordan Star Gatorade card depends on the condition.
A BGS 7 (NEAR MINT) can go for around $800, while a BGS 9 (MINT) around $2,200. A BGS 9.5 (GEM MINT) Jordan could even hit as high as $6,000. The most recent sale for a GEM MINT copy was January, 2023 via eBay auctions for $6,100.
How Rare is the 1985 Star Michael Jordan Gatorade Slam Dunk #7 Card?
There are currently 872 total 1985 Star Michael Jordan Gatorade cards graded by BGS (Beckett Grading), with just 52 of them receiving a GEM MINT grade of BGS 9.5. There are 186 BGS 9 MINT copies of the card.
With Jordan’s global popularity and collector base 872 copies can barely satisfy demand. Only a handful of Jordan Star Gatorade cards sell on the open market each month. A simple eBay search reveals several available for sale at any time.
1998 Upper Deck Gatorade Michael Jordan 12-Card Gold Set
Upper Deck, in conjunction with Gatorade, produced the 1998 MJ Gatorade set as a special prize that customers could win when purchasing Gatorade drinks. The NBA Dreams set included 12 jumbo-sized Jordan cards, one for each of year from 1985 through 1997 (not counting 1994 as Jordan was retired for that season).
How Much is the 1998 Upper Deck Gatorade Michael Jordan 12-Card Set Worth?
Recent eBay comps show the complete set sells for between $20 and $40 based on condition (ungraded).
Graded 1998 Upper Deck Michael Jordan Gatorade cards are seldom sent for grading because the cost to grade them is not worth the return on investment. That said, several BGS graded copies auctioned in January, 2023, and sold in a range from $24 for a BGS 8.5 NM-MT+ grade, and $60 to $80 for BGS 9.5 GEM MINT copies.
PSA has graded higher quantities of the card set than BGS, relatively speaking (more on this in the section that follows). PSA 8 NM-MT condition cards can run for $20-$40 each, while a PSA 10 of card #11 (“1996”) recently sold for $288 at PWCC Auctions in February, 2023.
How Rare is the 1998 Upper Deck Gatorade Michael Jordan 12-Card Set?
The 1998 Upper Deck Gatorade Michael Jordan cards set is not considered rare at all. Given it was a prize under the “Look under the cap” Gatorade program, there could be a production count in the thousands, if not tens of thousands. A quick eBay search shows many of the sets available for sale.
There are around 20-25 BGS graded Michael Jordan Gatorade cards for each card in the set, for a grand total of 289 cards in the BGS population report.
PSA, on the other hand, has over 1,000 total cards graded in their pop report. Again, this isn’t that many relative to how many of the cards were likely produced.
1999 Upper Deck Gatorade Michael Jordan 6-Card Set
Upper Deck and Gatorade would team up for a sequel set of MJ cards in 1999, but this time only a six-card set was produced and distributed. The 1999 Upper Deck Gatorade Michael Jordan set featured jumbo-sized cards again, one for each year of Michael Jordan’s six NBA championships this time. The set was similarly distributed via mail-in for Gatorade customers who found the MJ card prize under a winning bottle cap.
How Much is the 1999 Upper Deck Gatorade Michael Jordan 6-Card Set Worth?
The complete 1999 Upper Deck Gatorade Michael Jordan card set (ungraded) averages only around $10 based on recent eBay sales.
BGS or PSA graded MJ cards sell fairly infrequently. A complete BGS-graded set featuring most cards in NM-MT or MINT condition recently sold in January, 2023, for $172 via eBay auction. In contrast, the last recorded PSA sale was a PSA 7 single card which last sold in June, 2022, for just $17.50.
How Rare is the 1999 Upper Deck Gatorade Michael Jordan 6-Card Set?
Similar to the original 1998 Upper Deck Gatorade 12-card set, the 1999 release is not considered a rare card set. An eBay search will yield plenty of results for collectors eager to purchase the set.
While the 1999 UD Gatorade set is not considered rare, there aren’t many graded cards in the BGS or PSA population reports.
BGS has recorded only 92 total 1999 Upper Deck Michael Jordan Gatorade cards. On the other hand, PSA has recorded just 84 copies. Note: PSA has categorized the set under the year 2000 in their population report, although the MJ set was released in 1999.
Michael Jordan’s endorsement deal with Gatorade has resulted in the creation of numerous Gatorade-themed sneakers, apparel, and collectible cards. As this post discussed, the 1985 Star Michael Jordan Gatorade Slam Dunk Card #7, the 1998 Upper Deck Gatorade Michael Jordan 12-Card set, and the 1999 Upper Deck Gatorade Michael Jordan 6-Card set are particularly notable among collectors.
The Upper Deck sets are far more affordable and accessible, ranging from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars for cards in GEM MINT condition. In contrast, the 1985 Star Gatorade Michael Jordan card can fetch thousands of dollars depending on the card’s condition.