November 27, 2019 - Barry Sanders stepped away from the National Football League after the 1998 season, but the sentiment that he’s one of the greatest to play the game rings as true now as it did more than two decades ago.
To commemorate 20 years since the Hall of Famer and former Detroit Lions running back hung up his trainers, the company is immortalizing Sanders’ playing career on the shoe he knows best: the Nike Air Zoom Turf Jet 97.
Sanders wore the shoe during his professional career and it helped him solidify a reputation as one of the best running backs of all-time.
With only 2,053 units made — the same number as the most yards Sanders rushed in a single season (1997) — the limited-edition Air Zoom Turf Jet 97 employs the Detroit Lions' team colors, team name and Sanders’ retired number 20 on the midfoot strap.
“I played high school football for four years, college football for three years and professional football for 10 years, yet I have been a Nike spokesperson for 30," says Sanders. "It is such a huge honor that they are bringing back this shoe in my honor, and I can’t thank Nike enough on behalf of my fans everywhere.”
Ahead of the Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving home game against the Chicago Bears, Sanders will serve as the Lions’ honorary game-day captain — taking the field once more in a pair of shoes that immortalize his success on it.
Barry Sanders’ Nike Air Zoom Turf Jet 97 first drops at the Lions Team Shop on November 27 (250 pairs) and then on nike.com on November 28 at 9:30 a.m. PT, in alignment with the team's Thanksgiving game kickoff.