Nike and Vanessa Bryant, wife of late NBA icon Kobe Bryant, have entered into a partnership.
As Shoe News reportsthe athletics giant announced on Thursday evening that a new chapter of collaboration with the Bryant family has begun and that in partnership with Vanessa Bryant, they will work together to “inspire a new generation of athletes and encourage youth participation At the sports”.
The partnership, confirmed by Nike in a statement, will result in the court-ready Nike Kobe 6 Protro “Mambacita Sweet 16” basketball sneaker that will honor Kobe and Vanessa Bryant’s late daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant. All proceeds from the shoe, according to Nike, will benefit the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.
“I am happy to announce that we will continue my husband’s legacy with Nike and I look forward to expanding his and Gigi’s global impact by sharing the Mamba mentality with young athletes for generations to come.” Vanessa Bryant said in a statement.
Although Nike said the shoe will release, the brand said drop information will be shared at a later date.
Additionally, Nike said it will work with Vanessa Bryant to establish a youth basketball center in Southern California, and that they will continue to equip “NBA and WNBA athletes who wear the heritage of the Mamba mentality”.
“Kobe Bryant means so much to many of us, not just NBA fans, but beyond the game globally,” said Nike Inc. President and CEO John Donahoe. in a press release. “His impact in the growth of the sport, particularly encouraging women and young people to play it, endures as one of his deepest and most enduring legacies. Together with Vanessa, we hope to honor Kobe and Gigi by championing a new generation for many years to come.
The partnership marks the return of the Bryant family to working with Nike, as the brand’s deal with Kobe Bryant ended in April 2021. After Nike confirmed the deal had ended, Vanessa Bryant wrote via Instagram that ‘she hoped that her late husband’s fans would still have the opportunity to buy her products.
“Kobe’s Nike contract expired 4/13/21,” the Instagram post read. “Kobe and Nike have made some of the finest basketball shoes of all time, worn and loved by fans and athletes of all sports around the world. It seems fitting that more NBA players are wearing Kobe’s product. my husband than any other brand shoe. My hope will always be to allow Kobe fans to get and wear his products. I will continue to fight for that. Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says it all “I hoped to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband’s legacy. We will always do our best to honor the legacy of Kobe and Gigi. That will never change.”