Last April, Nike failed to reach an agreement with Vanessa Bryant regarding the future of their line of Kobe sneakers and had to halt production and distribution of the extremely popular shoes. Some prototypes, including a Mambacita pair, still made their way out into the hands of some of their NBA players, which irked Vanessa and since then players have only been able to wear colorways they were able to stockpile.
The Kobe line is the most popular sneaker in the league, so many players were worried about having to find a new shoe to wear once their stash ran out, but those players and fans of the line in general received some good news on Thursday. Vanessa Bryant announced on Instagram that nearly a year after declining to renew the contract with Nike, she had reached an agreement with the sneaker giant to bring the Kobe line back as well as Gigi merchandise, with Nike donating all net proceeds from the Gigi line to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation and working with Bryant on building a new youth basketball center in Southern California.
We’re excited to announce our partnership with Nike is going to continue! 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). I am also grateful that Nike and I will work together to establish a youth basketball center in Southern California that will share the Mamba Mentality with youth athletes for generations to come. I know this is an inspiring moment for my husband and daughter’s global fans, and I am very appreciative of each and every one of you!
With Gratitude for every fan around the world supporting Kobe and Gigis Legacy,
It’s great to see Nike finding away to reconcile with Vanessa and get this deal done to allow fans to continue getting the ever-popular line of sneakers, while also supporting a good cause as well with Gigi merchandise. There’s no word on exactly when the Kobe line will return to retailers and Nike’s online store, but given they were in production on a few retros last year when the contract got pulled, one would think they have some product to put out fairly soon.