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Nike, Kobe Bryant Estate Join Forces Again

  • Nike and the Kobe Bryant estate are linking back up after parting ways last year.
  • New shoes from the brands could come by May.
Kobe-Bryant
Harrison Hill/Design: John Regula

After a public split last year, Nike and Kobe Bryant’s estate are reuniting.

Nike will resume producing shoes and apparel for the Zoom Kobe series, Nike and Vanessa Bryant announced Thursday.

“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 remains so desired by his fans around the world,” Bryant wrote.

Almost 20% of NBA players have worn Nike Kobe sneakers in games since Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others died in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

  • Nike will launch a Gigi Bryant shoe series with all proceeds donated to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.
  • The first new shoe from the partnership will be the Kobe 6 Protro “Mambacita Sweet 16,” Nike said in a statement. The release could come as soon as May 1, which would have been Gianna Bryant’s 16th birthday.
  • Nike and Vanessa Bryant will partner on establishing a youth basketball center in Southern California.

Before The Reunion

The partnership between Nike and the Bryant estate expired in April 2021 after 18 years. Prior to the split, she expressed dissatisfaction with the availability of Kobe brand products. In the following weeks, Vanessa Bryant unveiled the Mambacita clothing line in honor of her daughter. 

Bryant’s estate filed 13 trademarks from May 2020 to June 2021.

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