The widow of Kobe Bryant, Vanessa, has ended the late basketball legend’s 18-year relationship with sports activities attire large Nike, telling followers that she is going to “continue to fight” for followers to have the ability to put on his massively fashionable sneakers.
Their partnership started in 2003 when the LA Lakers star, then the NBA’s hottest property, left Adidas.
Releasing 11 signature basketball sneakers with Nike, he reportedly signed a five-year contract extension with the corporate when retiring in 2016, which continued to run following his dying in a deadly helicopter crash alongside daughter Gianna at first of 2020.
Following the tragedy, resellers jacked up the worth of the footwear and Nike additionally produced re-releases.
The finish of the partnership implies that followers will now not must battle to afford and purchase restricted editions – though his widow hopes followers can nonetheless benefit from the objects.
Releasing a press release through Instagram, she started by confirming: “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 appears becoming that extra NBA gamers put on my husband’s product than every other signature shoe. My hope will at all times be to permit Kobe’s followers to get and put on his merchandise.
At 6:36 AM in the present day I acquired a textual content:“Vanessa Bryant did not renew contract. Kobe and Nike are done.”I’ve been working since to verify what this implies forward for the Nike / Kobe Bryant partnership.As of proper now — there is no such thing as a ongoing contract for future Kobe releases. pic.twitter.com/5vuyQg6Gw6
— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) April 19, 2021
“I will continue to fight for that. Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says everything.
“I hoped to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that displays my husband’s legacy. We will at all times do the whole lot we will to honor Kobe and Gigi’s legacies. That won’t ever change.”
Nike had earlier confirmed the news, saying: “Kobe Bryant was an necessary a part of Nike’s deep connection to customers. He pushed us and made everybody round him higher.
“Though our contractual relationship has ended, he remains a deeply loved member of the Nike family.”
Would be exhausting to imagine Vanessa was happy with how they’ve dealt with the posthumous releases being so freaking restricted. Fans can’t get their arms on items of his legacy.
— Lou (@louash2) April 20, 2021
Fans on social media provided assist to Vanessa but additionally took the chance to criticize Nike.
“I wouldn’t have expected her to hold on to that,” one remarked.
“I can’t imagine how painful it must be for her… I’m sure she has her reasons.”
“Would be hard to believe Vanessa was pleased with how they’ve handled the posthumous releases being so freaking limited. Fans can’t get their hands on pieces of his legacy,” one other complained.