Kobe Bryant’s estate did not renew the late basketball star’s longstanding deal with Nike before it expired on April 13, 2021.
Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram to release a statement explaining her decision to let the deal expire.
“Kobe’s Nike contract expired on 4/13/21,” Vanessa wrote on her Instagram Story. “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 seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband’s product than any other signature shoe. My hope will always be to allow Kobe’s fans to get and wear his products.”
Her statement continues with “My hope will always be to allow Kobe’s fans to get and wear his products. I will continue to fight for that. Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says everything. I was hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband’s legacy. We will always do everything we can to honor Kobe and Gigi’s legacies. That will never change.”
Vanessa has been very vocal about her frustration with the exclusivity of Nike Kobe products and has urged the brand to make them more widely available for fans.
Maybe now they’ll listen.
Vanessa Bryant’s statement on the end of Kobe’s Nike deal ?? pic.twitter.com/mE2KQ86PPQ
— Complex Sneakers (@ComplexSneakers) April 20, 2021