Kobe Bryant’s estate did NOT renew his deal with Nike as it expired this month — prompting speculation as to what the future for the late athlete’s apparel deal may hold.
Bryant’s latest deal with Nike expired on April 13, 2021, according to sneaker industry sources.
Nike did not have a comment for this story. The brand does have more Kobe shoes scheduled to drop in 2021, which sources say will be the last of his Nikes to release for the time being.
Bryant inked a deal with Adidas at the start of his professional career in 1996 and signed to Nike in 2003. He became one of the most important Nike endorsers in the ensuing years, appearing in countless advertisements and releasing over 11 signature sneakers. Nike continued to release shoes for Bryant even after his retirement in 2016.
It has also released shoes after his tragic death in January 2020, bringing back old models as retros. These sneakers have regularly sold out in the wake of his passing, which rekindled desire for the Nike Kobe line.
We would think that it would be really heard to produce new Kobe sneakers without Kobe — so maybe they’re negotiating a new deal with Nike to re-release Kobe classics.