Vanessa Bryant has signed a deal With Nike on Kobe Bryant shoes known as the Mamba and Mambacita. She did so in honor of her late husband and her daughter who died in a plane crash. Vanessa Bryant said 100% of the proceeds from Gigi’s shoes will be a donation to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, following the charitable foundation in 2020 which was renamed to honor Gianna. This new partnership will help fans as they will soon be able to have access to Kobe and Gigi Nike products for years to come.
Vanessa Bryant wrote in her Instagram post, “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.” Almost 20% of NBA players have worn a Nike Kobe sneaker for a game since Bryant, along with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others died in a January 2020 helicopter crash. From Nike’s perspective, this partnership will look to provide young athletes access to youth sports, with several initiatives planned globally to honor Bryant’s legacy.
Bryant signed with Nike in 2003 and remained with the company for the rest of his career. This is a reversal of course from April 2021 when DePaula reported Vanessa and the Kobe Bryant estate chose not to extend the five-year post-retirement contract he had entered into with Nike in 2016. “Kobe Bryant means so much to so many of us, not just NBA fans but globally beyond the game,” John Donahoe, Nike’s president, and CEO said in a statement. “His impact in growing the sport, particularly encouraging women and young people to pick it up, endures as one of his deepest, lasting legacies. Together with Vanessa, we hope to honor Kobe and Gigi by championing a new generation for many years to come.