MANILA, Philippines — Vanessa Bryant and the Kobe Bryant estate did not renew the long-time partnership the late Los Angeles Lakers star had with Nike on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time).
The decision left scores of fans puzzled as the five-time NBA champion had been with the brand since 2003. Vanessa had taken to social media to explain what led them to no longer partner with the sports wear giant.
Vanessa Bryant just posted this about Kobe's contract with Nike expiring. pic.twitter.com/KR7hUTCxcn
— Lakers Outsiders (@LakersOutsiders) April 20, 2021
"Kobe and Nike have made some of the most beautiful basketball shoes of all time, worn and adored by fans and athletes in all sports across the globe. It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband's product than any other signature shoe," Vanessa wrote on Instagram.
"My hope will always be to allow Kobe's fans to get and wear his products. I will continue to fight for that. Kobe's products sell out in seconds. That says everything," she added.
Since the death of the Laker legend, Vanessa has reportedly expressed frustration regarding the exclusivity of Nike Kobe products, there was also a lack of availability of Kobe footwear in kids' sizes.
This frustration seemingly reached a boiling point with the Bryant's decision to leave the brand, despite hopes to forge a "lifelong partnership".
"I was hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband's legacy. We will always do everything we can to honor Kobe and Gigi's legacies. That will never change," Vanessa's statement continued.
The end of the deal, according to ESPN, will most likely mean that all future releases of Kobe Bryant-branded footwear and apparel manufactured by Nike will be halted.
While the Bryants, theoretically, may explore deals with other brands, ESPN's Nick DePaula reported that before his death, Kobe had "explored the notion of creating his own Mamba Brand" when his deal with Nike expired.
Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com