Late basketball legend Kobe Bryant and Nike had a partnership that lasted nearly twenty years. However, it seems that partnership will be coming to an end.
To get into specifics, Bryant’s Estate which is lead by his wife Vanessa Bryant, will not be renewing the previous 5-year “post-retirement endorsement extension” that Kobe Bryant signed back in 2016.
While speaking to ESPN , Vanessa Bryant talked about not opting to renew the partnership.
“Kobe’s Nike contract expired on 4/13/21. 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 Bryant explained the reasons for not renewing the contract. She noted that it was due to long-term money and her being displeased at the availability of Kobe shoes, especially for children.
It was also stated that Vanessa Bryant was unhappy with the financial aspects of the new deal Nike was offering as she expected lifetime deals similar to the ones Michael Jordan and LeBron James signed with the company.
Vanessa Bryant also wanted the shoes to be more widely available for all.
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.”
After the end of their partnership with Nike, it is likely Vanessa Bryant will look for sponsorship with a new shoe company.