The Kobes you’ve always wanted may come to return.
Vanessa Bryant, the wife of the late Kobe Bryant, announced that Kobe’s signature sneaker line will still continue with Nike.
Kobe signed a deal with Nike back in 2003 after a stint with Adidas. Since that deal his signature sneakers have been the most sought after basketball sneakers behind Michael Jordan’s kicks. Kobe’s stellar performance on the court translated and helped shoot the Nike Basketball brand into new heights. Since his signing, Nike has brought on fellow future NBA Hall of Famers into fold for their own signature sneakers including LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Sadly, Kobe died in January 2020, along with his daughter Gianna and 7 of their friends and teammates in a helicopter crash.
After their deaths Vanessa Bryant was in charge of plenty of Kobe’s assets, including the sneaker deal. Prior to Kobe’s death, he signed a post-retirement, five-year extension deal with Nike back in 2016. Kobe had even explored creating his own Mamba brand upon the expiration of the then existing Nike deal. In December 2019, Kobe met with a creative agency that could potentially help design a future product series.
In April 2021, it was reported that Kobe Bryant’s estate was not going to continue their relationship with Nike. This decision was apparently due to Nike limiting Kobe associated products, particularly when it came to footwear in children sizes. The deal Nike allegedly proposed was not on the same “lifetime” level like fellow basketball greats LeBron James and Michael Jordan. The price to get a pair of any Kobe sneaker skyrocketed since his death and were leading to $1,000 and above in the reselling landscape. At the time, both sides were not pleased with the outcome but now they’ve come back to an understanding for a renewed partnership.
In a statement delivered by Vanessa Bryant, she expresses her joy for the partnership to continue.
We’re excited to announce our partnership with Nike is going to continue!
I am so proud that my husband’s shoes are still the most worn by players on NBA courts and that the demand for his shoes remain so desired by his fans around the world.
With this new partnership, fans will soon be able to have access to Kobe and Gigi Nike product for years to come and with Nike donating 100% of the net proceeds yearly for Gianna’s shoes to our Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation (M&MSF).
I am also grateful that Nike and I will work together to establish a youth basketball center in Southern California that will share the Mamba Mentality with youth athletes for generations to come.
I know this is an inspiring moment for my husband and daughter’s global fans, and I am very appreciative of each and every one of you
With Gratitude for every fan around the world supporting Kobe and Gigis Legacy, Vanessa Bryant.
It’s beautiful to know that all the net proceeds will be going to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.
The youth basketball center is just a start of what this new partnership can provide of young athletes all over the world. Nick DePaula of ESPN reported that the first sneaker to be released under the new partnership will be the “Mambacita Sweet 16”.
Check out the kicks below.
What do you think of the new partnership? Do you like the new kicks?
Let us know in the comment section, and head to classixphilly.com for more news.
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