Nike partners with Kobe Bryant’s family to honor his legacy
Nike and Vanessa Bryant announced a renewed partnership that will include Kobe Bryant’s shoes, a new Gigi shoe series, and a new youth basketball center.
Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant announced on Thursday that the Kobe Bryant Estate has reached a new long-term contract with Nike to continue producing footwear and apparel from Bryant's Zoom Kobe series, along with other initiatives.
This means that Bryant’s signature shoes, one of the most popular in the NBA, will be back, nearly a year after Bryant's initial endorsement deal with Nike expired.
Vanessa Bryant made a post on instagram Thursday that read, “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 the demand for his shoes remains so desired by his fans around the world.”
Around 20% of NBA players have worn a Nike Kobe sneaker for a game since Bryant died in a helicopter crash that killed him and his daughter, Gianna ‘Gigi’, in Jan. 2020.
Among NBA stars who wear Bryant’s signature shoes are Lakers Anthony Davis and Malik Monk.
Nike and Vanessa Bryant to honor Bryant’s legacy
Vanessa and Nike’s objective is not just to bring back the star’s 11 signature Kobe shoes worn by Bryant during his career, but to also start initiatives to honor Bryant's legacy and make youth sports accessible to young athletes.
John Donahoe, Nike's president & CEO said in a statement that "Kobe Bryant means so much to so many of us, not just NBA fans but globally beyond the game. His impact in growing the sport, particularly encouraging women and young people to pick it up, endures as one of his deepest, lasting legacies. Together with Vanessa, we hope to honor Kobe and Gigi by championing a new generation for many years to come."
New 'Gigi' shoe series for charity
In addition to re-releasing Bryant’s shoes, and possibly his six post-career models as well, Nike also sets to launch a new Gigi Bryant shoe series, with all proceeds going to charity.
"With this new partnership, fans will soon be able to have access to Kobe and Gigi Nike products for years to come," Vanessa Bryant said. "Nike [is] donating 100% of the net proceeds yearly for Gianna's shoes to our Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation."
According to Nike, May 1 is the earliest date they’re looking to release the renewed partnership, which would have been Gianna Bryant's 16th birthday.
Nike and Vanessa Bryant to establish basketball center
Nike and Vanessa Bryant are also committed to establish a youth basketball center in Southern California in Bryant’s name.
"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," Vanessa Bryant wrote.
“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,” she added.