Kobe Bryant’s Partnership With Nike Officially Ends | Kobe Bryant’s Partnership With Nike Officially EndsFinancial Buzz

Kobe Bryant’s Partnership With Nike Officially Ends

NBA Legend Kobe Bryant’s endorsement with Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) has officially ended after 18 long years. Following his tragic death last year, Bryant’s estate including his wife Vanessa were given the right to negotiate with Nike on terms to renew the contract on his behalf, but the two parties unfortunately could not reach an agreement.“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,” Vanessa told ESPN.  

Before he became a 5-time NBA champion, 18-time All Star, and league MVP, 17-year old Kobe Bryant signed his first shoe deal worth USD 48 Million with Adidas in 1996. Kobe and Adidas eventually parted ways in 2002, and after winning his first 3 championships Bryant signed a 4-year USD 40 Million deal with Nike in 2003. Kobe has been long considered as one of the greatest players to ever step foot on a basketball court, and his shoe line became a staple among NBA fans and players alike. The deal was of course renewed multiple times and even continued after Bryant’s retirement in 2016. Now that Nike will no longer be producing their signature Kobes, it’s expected rival companies such Adidas, Under-Armour, or Puma could reach out to Bryant’s estate for a potential deal to continue the Kobe brand. Vanessa Bryant gave fans who wish to continue wearing her husband’s sneakers a hopeful message and stated, “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.”

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