Nike is back to being the home for Kobe Bryant’s estate.
In April 2021, AfroTech reported that the estate had parted ways with the company after an expired deal. The end of the contract put a halt on the longtime relationship that was built with Bryant before his untimely passing the year before. Now, what initially appeared to be a closed door has reopened.
ESPN reports Vanessa Bryant and Nike announced that the contractual relationship has restarted with a new long-term deal to further honor the legacy of the late NBA legend and GiGi through producing footwear and apparel.
“We’re excited to announce our partnership with Nike is going to continue!” Vanessa wrote via Instagram. “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.”
The Shoe Releases
According to the outlet, the upcoming shoes that will be dropping include “re-releases of the 11 signature Kobe models worn by Bryant during his career, and potentially his six post-career models as well.”
In commemoration for Gigi’s life, her new shoe series will also be launching soon. On behalf of Nike, 100% of the collection’s yearly net proceeds will be donated to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation (M&MSF).
Under the new deal, the first official drop will be the Kobe 6 Protro ‘Mambacita Sweet 16’ in honor of Gigi. Its release date is reportedly aiming for May 1, which would’ve marked her 16th birthday. Vanessa shared that just like her daughter’s shoe series, all proceeds for the first new shoe will benefit M&MSF.
New Basketball Facility
Bryant’s estate and Nike rekindling their relationship isn’t stopping at only sneaker production. In her announcement, Vanessa revealed that the company will also be launching a new basketball facility to continue to keep the spirit of the Black Mamba alive.
“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,” she wrote.