Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram Thursday to announce that she has come to terms with Nike on a new deal that will allow the company to produce shoes in honor of the late Kobe and Gigi Bryant. Vanessa, 39, said in a post on the social media website Thursday. ‘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 remain so desired by his fans around the world.
‘With this new partnership, fans will soon be able to have access to Kobe and Gigi Nike product for years to come and with Nike donating 100% of the net proceeds yearly for Gianna’s shoes to our Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation (M&MSF).’ Vanessa said she was ‘grateful’ to collaborate with Nike on the establishment of ‘a youth basketball center in Southern California that will share the Mamba Mentality with youth athletes for generations to come.’
Vanessa, who is mom to daughters Natalia, 19, the late Gigi, 13, Bianka, five, and Capri, two, with late NBA icon, called the business endeavor ‘an inspiring moment’ for fans of Kobe and Gigi, and said that she’s ‘very appreciative’ for all of them. She addressed the post ‘with Gratitude for every fan around the world supporting Kobe and [Gigi’s] Legacy.’
The renewed business relationship comes less than a year after the late Los Angeles Laker star’s deal with Nike expired in April of 2021. Vanessa had past publicly commented on social media about a scarcity of the signature Kobe Bryant shoes in the wake of his tragic passing. She said in December of 2020 that she had ‘reached out to’ the company after learning that ‘fans [were] having a hard time’ obtaining the Kobe 6 Grinch shoes; and was upset in June of 2021 after the company had produced a Gigi MAMBACITA shoe without her approval.
Nike President/CEO John Donahoe said in a news release Thursday that the company was hoping ‘to honor Kobe and Gigi by championing a new generation for many years to come. ‘Kobe Bryant means so much to so many of us, not just NBA fans but globally beyond the game,’ Donahoe said. ‘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.’
The initial release from the company after reaching the new pact will be the Kobe 6 Protro ‘Mambacita Sweet 16,’ in honor of Gigi. It was not immediately clear when the product would hit the market. The family continues to remain resilient after Kobe, 41, and Gigi, 13, died with seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on January 26, 2020. Also killed in the crash were pilot Ara Zobayan, 50, Payton Chester, 13, Sarah Chester, 46, Alyssa Altobelli, 14, Keri Altobelli, 46, John Altobelli, 56, and Christina Mauser, 38.