The five-year, post-retirement endorsement deal between Kobe Bryant and Nike has expired. ESPN reports Vanessa Bryant and the Kobe Bryant estate will not renew the partnership.
“Kobe’s Nike contract expired on 4/13/21,” Vanessa Bryant told ESPN. “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.”
A source close to ESPN states Bryant and the estate were frustrated with how limited Kobe products became after his retirement and following his January 2020 death. In addition, there was also an issue with the lack of availability for the Kobe sneakers in Kids sizes.
Sources also stated Nike presented an offer but it was not similar to the “lifetime” structures that were inked with Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
“My hope will always be to allow Kobe’s fans to get and wear his products,” Vanessa Bryant said. “I will continue to fight for that. Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says everything.
“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.”
“Kobe Bryant was an important part of Nike’s deep connection to consumers,” Nike told ESPN in a statement. “He pushed us and made everyone around him better. Though our contractual relationship has ended, he remains a deeply loved member of the Nike family.”