Kobe Bryant's Nike Contact Not Renewed, Brand Issues Statement: Report
There were rumors last month that the Bryant family was plotting new business moves after reportedly trademarking the terms "Mamba" and "Mambacita." Reports stated that the documents showed Kobe Bryant's phrases were to be used for future merchandise, and it looks as if that may be true now that it is being reported that on April 13, Kobe's partnership with Nike ended.
Kobe, who tragically passed away last year along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven of their friends, first joined forces with Nike in 2003 after ending his partnership with adidas. The Bleacher Report shared details of the end of this iconic union, adding that fans will still be able to look forward to "new editions of the Hall of Famer's signature sneakers this year."
The Bryant family reportedly decided not to renew the contract with Nike and now the brand has reportedly issued a statement. “Kobe Bryant was an important part of Nike’s deep connection to consumers. He pushed us and made everyone around him better. Though our contractual relationship has ended, he remains a deeply loved member of the Nike family.”
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Venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar claims to know the inside scoop on Bryant's plans just prior to his untimely death. "I met with Kobe Bryant in late December 2019," tweeted Pishevar. "Kobe wasn’t happy with Nike and was going to leave it in 2020. Kobe was going to start Mamba, a shoe company owned by players. He passed away weeks later. What he was about to do in business was going to eclipse his sports career."
We'll have to wait and see what the Bryant family has planned. Check out the posts below, including Pishevar showing designs for the Mamba shoe brand.